Roy Hodgson recruits psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters for England

Hodgson taking psychologist to World Cup

England plan to use the psychiatrist who helped British cyclists win Olympic gold as they continue their preparations for the World Cup.

Dr Steve Peters already works with Liverpool players and has helped out snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.

"He has got a fantastic record," said England boss Roy Hodgson. "We are happy we have got the man we wanted.

"He is someone who can understand the footballing environment rather than just lecturing to the players."

Peters, who was a key factor in Britain's extraordinary track cycling success at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics, has also worked with Tour de France winners Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

"We have to make sure that all benefits that might help us win more matches and go further in the tournament are exploited," added Hodgson.

"He will really come into his own when we are in the tournament and he has time to work with the players, rather than the day or two around friendlies."

England kick off their World Cup campaign against Italy on 14 June, followed by group games against Costa Rica and Uruguay.

England skipper Steven Gerrard was a fan of Peters before the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers asked him to talk to the club's players.

"He has helped me a lot from a personal point of view," said Gerrard.

"I saw him in a one-on-one situation and I liked his work and continued to see him. 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 Cruyff turn or a 40-yard pass better, but he can help you learn what goes off inside your head.

"If the players buy into what he says, it will help. He is the best. I've played my most consistent form for Liverpool and England since seeing Steve."

Gerrard added that if it was not for Peters, he could have been forced to retire following a serious injury he suffered four years ago.

"I had a career-threatening injury called a groin avulsion where the muscle comes off the bone," he said.

"I'd seen three or four surgeons and they weren't really convincing me that I could maybe play again so I turned to him.

"He helps you with positivity, the power of thought, and staying upbeat, that sort of stuff.

"It was a very important stage in my career. I went to see him and I can only speak very highly of my private one-on-ones with him."

England continue their build-up to the World Cup Brazil with a friendly against Denmark on Wednesday.

The Wembley match is England's final outing before Hodgson names his squad for the World Cup, which starts on 12 June.

Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker, 23, pulled out of the squad with a groin injury, which means Glenn Johnson is set to win his 50th cap.