Robbo outlines shoot-out plan
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Paul Robinson believes he can be England's hero if penalties arise this summer.
Paul Robinson has revealed that he is doing his utmost to ensure that England's penalty shoot-out jinx does not strike again this summer.
England have lost on penalties three times in the last decade, crashing out in the cruellest way possible in 1996, 1998 and 2004.
However, goalkeeper Robinson is confident that England will be more successful if the situation arises this summer, as he has been putting the work in to give them the edge by studying the techniques of likely knockout round rivals.
"There is always the possibility of a penalty shoot-out when it comes to the knockout stages of the World Cup and I've been doing a lot of research to prepare for that," he said.
"I'm not going to tell you exactly what I've been doing because that might give a few clues away.
"I haven't necessarily been looking at videos of all the potential penalty takers, but I think my methods will bring results and I'd like to point out I saved a penalty from West Ham striker Teddy Sheringham in Tottenham's last game of the season.
"So with the work I've been doing I believe I've given myself the best possible chance of saving a penalty at the World Cup if I have to."
The 26-year-old also explained that goalkeepers relish the opportunity of saving penalties, pointing to Jose Reina's exploits for Liverpool in the FA Cup final.
"Of course there are no guarantees which way the penalty taker is going to go but as a goalkeeper in a shoot-out you can't really lose because there's a lot more pressure on the kicker," he observed.
"Jose Reina didn't have the best of games but he made himself a hero in the shoot-out.
"That doesn't mean I actually want to be involved in a penalty shoot-out because that would mean England hadn't won the game in normal time.
"But if it comes to penalties I'll be up for it."
Robinson is now firmly established as England's number one and is looking forward to showcasing his talents on the world stage.
"I'm looking forward to this World Cup with real anticipation and expectation," he enthused.
"I've been number one for almost two years now so playing in a major international tournament is the next step up in my progression as a player.
"We'll be going to Germany very confident that we can achieve something. We've got a great squad and a magnificent starting XI."