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England hires psychiatrist for World Cup

March 4, 2014

LONDON (AP) — In a bid to boost his team’s mental strength at the World Cup, England coach Roy Hodgson said Tuesday he has hired a psychiatrist for the lead-up to the tournament in Brazil.

Hodgson said Dr. Steve Peters is the right man to help the team prepare for the trip.

″(He) is a very famous man in that area,” Hodgson said. “He has a great CV of working in different sports and has been doing some work with Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers.”

Peters, who has a close relationship with England captain Steven Gerrard, is the man behind British cycling’s recent successes. He has helped the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton to master the mental side of their sport.

Peters’ methods also seemed to work for the England rugby team which reached the 2007 World Cup final. His list of clients also includes five-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and cycling’s Team Sky, which produced two Tour de France champions.

His work at Liverpool seems to be helping as well with the Reds currently second in the Premier League standings.

Peters first helped Gerrard when he was struggling with a serious groin injury back in 2010.

“He has helped me with my mental preparation and injuries and I’ve played my most consistent form for Liverpool and England since seeing Steve,” Gerrard said. “I feel he can help the players if the players buy into what he is trying to do. He can’t help you do a (Johan) Cruyff turn or a 40-yard pass better but he can help you learn what goes off inside your head.”

With 100 days to go before the World Cup, England starts its final preparations with a friendly against Denmark on Wednesday at Wembley Stadium.

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