Roy Hodgson insists he doesn’t “know what they mean” when people say England play in an Italian style.
They take on the Azzurri in the Euro 2012 quarter-final on Sunday evening and the manager held a Press conference in Kiev this afternoon.
“I don’t know what they mean that we play like the Italian team, so they’ll have to explain it to us what qualities they see in our play that are similar to the Italians and the way they play.”
The 1966 World Cup is the last time England beat a major nation in a big tournament.
“It’s a nasty statistic and a very negative one, so all statistics that can be turned against you have to be statistics we’re anxious to do something about.
“You don’t change statistics by talking, but rather by getting on the pitch, winning and putting it to bed so people won’t continually bring it up.
“I’m not so certain it is a different mentality in the quarter-final, especially as in the group stages there was always a sense of the knockout about it.
“I don’t think it’ll change our mentality in particular. We have to prepare for the match and ensure when we are out there that we can do what we set out to do,” he said.
“We normally have our meeting before lunch, when I’ll speak to the players and give them final reminders, then another meeting before going to the stadium.”
Wayne Rooney was suspended for the first two group games, but returned to play and score against Ukraine.
“The reason we play with Wayne Rooney is we regard him as one of our best players.
“Cesare Prandelli seems to have done good work and the team is a good mix of more experienced and younger players with greater athleticism.
“The important thing for us to find our good form and play the way the team has done in previous matches.
“It’s crucial for us to control the game, as we know that if Italy have the chance to control the game then it can be a pretty long night for us, as they have so many players with great technique.”