Roy Hodgson intends to reinforce his message to England’s players that they need to put aside club issues and “stay focused with us” as the national squad arrived at their team hotel in Chantilly for Euro 2016.
Hodgson’s message to his players after checking in to the £500-a-night Auberge du Jeu de Paume was that they should not be weighed down by the pressures of playing in a major competition.
“The message is that we’ve got to approach this tournament without fear, we’ve got to show confidence in ourselves,” he said. “I would like the players to show as much confidence in themselves as we, the coaching staff, have in them because we know we do have a lot of very talented footballers.”
However, the England manager is also mindful that there might be distractions for several players with the prospect of summer transfers and he has made it clear that he does not want agents to visit the team hotel.
With Jamie Vardy’s future still unresolved as he contemplates leaving Leicester City for Arsenal, Hodgson is reiterating his request for England’s players not to blur their priorities and not to allow outside influences to take their minds away from the tournament.
“Whether they [agents] come to the hotel or not is a moot point. They will still be talking to the players face to face, on the phone or via Skype or Facebook – who the hell knows? But one thing this group of players know, and have accepted, is that when you are on England duty you are on England duty. It is not a question of you sorting out your future, or diving off for medicals.
“We control all of that and you [the players] have to accept there is a good chance that if you say you want to go for a medical that we will say: ‘We are not allowing that and you better bring your people here.’
“We are not trying to block players’ futures or transfers but, as far as we are concerned, our ongoing theme is that England is England, your club is your club. While you are with England, we want you to stay focused on us.”
England’s squad flew out from Luton airport and had their first training session, behind closed doors, at the Stade des Bourgognes. The squad will remain in Chantilly until Friday when they fly to Marseille for their opening game against Russia at the Stade Vélodrome the following day.
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