British Cycling performance director says England footballers need to stop focusing on results

Dave Brailsford says England’s footballers have been ‘emotionally hijacked’ and need to free themselves up by focusing on their performance rather than the result of today’s crucial game against Slovenia.

In the printed edition of today’s Metro newspaper, the TeamSky manager and British Cycling’s performance director said, “You have to forget about the result, forget about England, forget about the match you’re playing, just get out there and create an environment where you know what the processes are.

“You get emotionally hijacked and it doesn’t matter if you’re Pele, Mark Cavendish or Bradley Wiggins or whatever, once you’re emotionally hijacked, you’re finished.”

Brailsford, who’s Welsh of course, reckons England can still recover from their dismal start to the World Cup provided they focus on their performance against Slovenia today rather than the result. He said, “The worst case scenario is halfway through a match you start thinking ‘Jeez, what happens if we lose? What happens if we draw? We’re going to get slated for this.’

“They might be paid a lot of money but they’re human beings – they’re vulnerable. They could do with some real insight into how the mind works under pressure situations and coping scenarios. They need a freedom to express themselves and when they do, they’re brilliant.”

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc).