COLE CAN HOLD HIS HEAD UP
In the wake of seeing his penalty saved by Gianluigi Buffon during England's shoot-out defeat at the hands of Italy, Ashley Cole was reassured by boss Roy Hodgson that he should be proud of his performances throughout the tournament.
After Ashley Young had seen his effort come back off the bar, Cole - who scored from the spot in the Champions League Final - saw his strike saved by the Italian goalkeeper, allowing Alessandro Diamante to score the decisive kick and secure a semi-final against Germany, but Hodgson was keen to look at the bigger picture.
'Anyone can miss a penalty. They were not nonchalant,' argued the manager. 'Ashley Young's smashed against the bar and Ashley Cole's was well saved by Gianluigi Buffon.
'A player's reputation should not be forged on a penalty shoot-out, their reputation should be forged on the four games and in those four games we have not lost.
'We stuck to our guns right until the end and the players should be very proud of what they did.
'I have learnt a lot about the players and their determination and dedication to the task and the fact they are so keen to play for England.'