Parker - We can do a Chelsea
England midfielder Scott Parker says there is growing belief in the squad that they can 'do a Chelsea' at Euro 2012.
Last Updated: 22/06/12 4:29pm
England midfielder Scott Parker says there is growing belief in the squad that they can 'do a Chelsea' at Euro 2012 after reaching the quarter-finals.
Comparisons were drawn between Roy Hodgson's men and the UEFA Champions League winners even before they set out for Poland and Ukraine, with both having been written off after being forced to parachute in new managers.
But the fairytale turnaround masterminded by Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is seemingly being mirrored by Hodgson at Euro 2012 after England defied the odds to top their group and set up Sunday's last-eight encounter against Italy.
Tottenham midfielder Parker said: "I think we have a real togetherness and commitment in the squad and, ultimately, that can get you a long way.
"We've seen that last season with Chelsea and other teams.
"Fundamentally, they are the main key ingredients of why we can go and progress further.
"It's going to be a very tough game against an Italian side that are very well prepared and organised, with individual qualities.
"If we carry on doing what we are doing, we can maybe upset them."
England's players have been queueing up to hail the togetherness Hodgson has engendered in their camp, with Parker admitting the more relaxed approach has been well received.
As when Chelsea staged their remarkable fightback to beat Napoli in the Champions League last 16, England could hold their heads up high if reaching the knockout stage proved the limit at Euro 2012.
But, like the Blues, they are not going to be satisfied with simply saving face in Poland and Ukraine.
"We want to go further than the quarter-finals," said Parker. "We have the belief in the squad to go and get a victory at the weekend and progress.
"We'd be really disappointed if we went out of the competition on Sunday."
That disappointment arguably would have been less had England finished runners-up in Group D and drawn Spain.
"I don't think I am being disrespectful by saying we'd rather play Italy than Spain," added Parker.
"Spain are the reigning world champions and European champions."