England must lose fear factor – Owen

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Euro 2016
Host:FranceDates:10 June to 10 July
Coverage:Live commentary on BBC TV, BBC Radio, the BBC Sport website and app. Live text commentary on every game on BBC Sport website.

Former England striker Michael Owen has told the current squad to play without fear at Euro 2016.

Roy Hodgson’s side begin their campaign against Russia on 11 June, before facing Wales and Slovakia.

“Forget who’s going to cost us,” Owen, who represented England at five major tournaments, told BBC Sport.

“There’s almost a fear of being ‘the one’ – and that then turns into a selfish attitude. You can’t be expressive, you can’t be creative.”

England’s Euro 2016 Group B schedule
Fixture Venue Date & time BBC coverage
Live text commentary on every game on BBC Sport website
v Russia Marseilles 11 June, 20:00 BST ITV, BBC Radio 5 live
v Wales Lens 16 June, 14:00 BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 live
v Slovakia Saint-Etienne 20 June, 20:00 ITV, BBC Radio 5 live

In an interview with BBC Sport’s David Ornstein, the 36-year-old added: “There will be one person that everyone’s going to gang up on – the press, the media, whatever – but you’ve got to be bigger than that, not bothered about that and actually just do what’s best for the team.

“There’s been a fear over the years because we all see someone missing a penalty or someone getting sent off and costing the team.

“The whole country then almost gangs up on that player.

“There’s a fear amongst the squad – or there certainly was in my time – whereby you just didn’t want to be that person everybody castigates, gets vilified, and you’re the one that misses a penalty and they make a pizza advert about you.”

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