Lagerback hopes England's attacking struggles will continue


Lars Lagerback hopes England's attacking struggles will continue when they meet Iceland in Euro 2016's round of 16 on Monday.

Roy Hodgson's men had to settle for second spot in their group following a scoreless draw against Slovakia, having previously struggled going forward in their opening 1-1 draw with Russia.

Lagerback feels England have done well at the finals apart from their finishing and hopes their strikers will let them down versus Iceland, too.

"England have done rather well, except from scoring goals," Lagerback said at a news conference.

"Their performances have been good. But football is about scoring goals. I hope they will keep going like this. We want to keep them quiet even more than the other teams.  

"It is always difficult to know what to expect. England will normally have more possession. We will see if we can step up that part of the game. We are hoping for the same sort of result as in previous games. The weather conditions will play a role, too.

"There is no need to keep the players down to earth. They are very strong mentally. They are looking forward to the game. We want to take the next step. I think they will be ready and show what they can do.

"We have practiced penalties a bit. Some were good, others not so much. Like normal really."

Fellow coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, meanwhile, is adamant Iceland do not fear the physical battle ahead of them.

"Iceland don't have enough people for an army. These players are the Icelandic army," he stressed when asked about the so-called 'cod wars' involving both countries.

"We are not afraid of the physical battle. We have shown we can match any team in that area. We score every game and are great from set-pieces. We have to make sure we don't concede and then it will be fine."

Iceland have impressed at their first European Championship appearance and Hallgrimsson feels they are winners regardless of the outcome of Monday's game.

"It is a win-win game for us. We have already won the hearts of all Icelandic people with our performances. With a good performance, we will all be winners," he continued.

"If we beat England, the players' lives will change significantly. The reputation of Icelandic football will change. You have to be ready when the chance is there. And I don't think our football will get a bigger chance. But these players are winners regardless of the result."