Euro 2012: England do not fear France - Stewart Downing

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Euro 2012: England don't fear France - Stewart Downing

England's Stewart Downing says that the squad does not fear France and is confident of a result when the the sides meet at Euro 2012 on Monday.

Roy Hodgson's England face France in their opening group game, before taking on Sweden on 15 June and Ukraine four days later.

Downing, 27, said: "We are confident we can get a result. We don't fear them.

"We know they are a good team but so are we. We know their strength and weaknesses."

He denied that the England's players are talking about Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand's omission, saying: "Whoever the manager picks, we get on with it. I concentrate on my position in the team and so do the other players."

Downing is one of six Liverpool players in the England squad - more than any other club side - despite their eighth-placed finish in the Premier League.

The former Middlesbrough and Aston Villa midfielder defended the club's season, saying: "If you look at our performances, we battered teams at times but we did not have the killer instinct."

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Hart hungry for success

Speaking about Liverpool defender Martin Kelly, who has replaced Gary Cahill in the England squad, Downing said: "He's a quiet lad, goes about his business. He's going to be a terrific player and is a real talent.

"The manager has seen his ability and he's settling in quite well."

Goalkeeper Joe Hart, 25, supported Hodgson's stance of leaving it to Uefa and referees to take action if players are racially abused at Euro 2012.

Manchester City's Hart said: "We have discussed it and we will get on with it and let the referees and Uefa deal with it.

"It is not for us to walk off the pitch if that problem does occur and, fingers crossed, it won't happen."