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How can England recover?
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England captain David Beckham
Beckham missed a penalty as England suffered
Having led against France for 91 minutes, England were left stunned after two late goals condemned them to a 2-1 defeat.

So how can they recover their confidence and focus on winning the next two games? Paul Dent, sports psychologist at the English Institute of Sport explains.

The first thing England have to do is look at the result in a clinical, objective way. The emotion has to be taken out of it.

The players and management will be shielded from the media coverage back home.

They'll be able to look at the match objectively and ask themselves: 'What was achieved and what wasn't'?

A whirlwind few minutes left the supporters stunned
England's fans went from joy to despair

We must remember that for 91 minutes England were actually winning that game. Against one of the best teams in the world, they were on the brink of victory.

But in a tournament like this, outcome is everything.

In the build up, a lot of time is spent focussing on process goals - about how you do things - but once you get into the tournament the result is all that matters.

Putting it in perspective

If the ref had blown the whistle at 91 minutes, nobody would have cared how England had won - the result would have been all that mattered.

In the end they were undone because of a rash challenge by Emile Heskey and a poor back pass from Steven Gerrard.

Emile Heskey and Steven Gerrard
Heskey and Gerrard made crucial errors

Those two instances probably took less than 10 seconds in total. So you're looking at 91 minutes versus 5-10 seconds of poor play.

Looking ahead to the next match - which is what England must do now - that has to be weighed up.

All the players - and particularly those at fault for the goals - will feel down today.

But that could work in a positive respect, by motivating them to do better in the next game. They have an opportunity to put things right.

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It's not the end of the road - it's just the first game
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It's not as if their errors have knocked England out of the tournament. It's not the end of the road; it's just the first game.

Had it been in the knockout stages, this defeat - and the manner of it - may have been very hard for the players to recover from. Some never do.

If you look at what happened to David Beckham at France '98, it probably took him a year to get over his sending off and the hysteria that followed.

That's not a problem for this England team. If they do well in their next two games and qualify from their group, the France defeat will be forgotten.

England will be over it by the time they walk on the pitch to face Switzerland - that is their opportunity to put things right.

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All it has done is make the lads more determined to come back, get the right results to go through and try to meet them again
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England's Frank Lampard remains positive in defeat

:: English Institute of Sport

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