Friday, June 08, 2012


England's squad have attended a welcome reception near their Euro 2012 base in Krakow, walking among huge crowds in the city's main square. 

Roy Hodgson's squad made their way through hundreds of fans, tourists, police and media to reach the mayoral reception.

England are making a conscious effort to be seen as engaged with their hosts, after receiving heavy criticism over the team's isolated base in Rustenburg at the World Cup in South Africa two years ago.

The tactic could pose problems, however. The city’s deputy mayor has warned that the noise — and the attention of young Polish women — could be a problem.
Their city-centre base is a world away from the isolation of Rustenburg; far more appealing and far more pleasant.

That said, players who prefer a bit of peace might be disturbed by the dozens of bars and restaurants as well as an hourly bugle call.

England open their Euro 2012 account in Donetsk against France on Monday and will hope to have a fully fit squad to choose from. 

Manager Roy Hodgson is desperate for his players to take 'confidence and self-belief' into the tournament.

Sections of the media and many fans have been downbeat about England's chances heading into the tournament and, while Hodgson admits that could ultimately be a positive thing, he wants his players to trust themselves.


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