World Cup: England stars 'needed sleeping pills in Poland'

A number of England players needed sleeping tablets the night before their disappointing 1-1 draw with Poland it has emerged.

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World Cup: England stars 'needed sleeping pills in Poland'
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England players in Warsaw (Imago - not to be published in Poland)

It is widely reported that before the originally scheduled game on Tuesday, some of the players had taken caffeine pills to help keep them alert during the match, but that plan backfired when the match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Which players needed to then take further tablets to help them sleep has not been confirmed but the taking of such tablets has been reported as fact across all the English newspapers both tabloid and quality.

Manager Roy Hodgson admitted that his team went from being "sharp and lively" before the planned match on Tuesday to sluggish once the game finally took place on Wednesday afternoon.

"I had the impression earlier in the week that the players were looking sharp and lively. I didn’t have that impression (when the game finally took place)," admitted the England boss.

"I don’t know if that’s due to the extra night, the sodden pitch or that we didn’t play well on the day. There are days when you don’t hit the heights. A point in Warsaw is not to be looked down upon."

Captain Steven Gerrard said that the players would not be using the postponement of the game as an excuse for the team's below par performance.

"When you’re fired-up, pumped-up, you’ve had your massages and you’re ready to go, that’s not ideal but we’re professionals," he said.

"We’re playing at the top level and we had to get ourselves up for this but I didn’t think we were totally at the races.

“I slept fine. I won’t use the delay and conditions as an excuse. The reason we didn’t win was because we didn’t pass it when we went in front.”

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