'Cowards' Sweden switch focus to England
Kyiv, Ukraine (Sports Network) - Sweden coach Erik Hamren said his team played like "cowards" against Ukraine, and demanded a better team performance against England on Friday in Group D play in Euro 2012.
Sweden took the lead on co-host Ukraine on a goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but surrendered a pair of goals to Andriy Shevchenko in a 2-1 loss Monday. Now, it is important "to forget this and think about the next game," Hamren said.
England will arrive at Olympic Stadium with one point from a 1-1 draw against France, and Sweden will have its backs against the wall.
Hamren believed Sweden could have won the match and was more worried about the performance of his own team, as "I didn't see any surprises" from Ukraine.
"For me it's more our performance. I said before the tournament that for us to win these games we need 11 players at their best," Hamren said.
"We didn't show the courage we were supposed to. We were cowards in the first half. Now we have to grieve together, because we did this together."
And for Sweden to extend its tournament beyond group play, it will need to get all 11 players on the same page for England.
Although the Three Lions lost Frank Lampard, Gary Cahill and Gareth Barry to injuries before the tournament, and are without star striker Wayne Rooney for their first two games, they did enough to get a point against France.
For coach Roy Hodgson, who was in charge of just his third game with England, it was an acceptable start.
"You don't become a good team in three games and ten training sessions," said Hodgson.
"I'm obviously pleased, for the players most of all," Hodgson added. "I'm glad to get this game out of the way and I'm now looking forward to the rest of this competition."
England is supposed to struggle at Euros, according to many, but a win against Sweden would give confidence to the squad, which will get Rooney back for the last group match against Ukraine.
"Hopefully," Hodgson said, "we'll just get better."