Can England manager Roy Hodgson lead the Three Lions to a win over Italy in their World Cup opener in Manaus?
Sang Tan/AP

LONDON (AP) - In a bid to boost his team's mental strength at the World Cup, England coach Roy Hodgson said Tuesday he has hired a psychiatrist.

Hodgson said Dr. Steve Peters is the right man to help the team prepare for the trip to Brazil.

''A very famous man in that area,'' Hodgson said. ''He has a great CV (curriculum vitae) of working in different sports and has been doing some work with Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers.''

Peters, who has a close relationship with England captain Steven Gerrard, has helped British cyclists Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton.

Peters' methods also seemed to work for the England rugby team, which reached the 2007 World Cup final. His list of clients also includes five-time world snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan and cycling's Team Sky, which produced two Tour de France champions.

Peters first worked with Gerrard when the Liverpool midfielder was struggling with a groin injury in 2010.

''He has helped me with my mental preparation and injuries, and I've played my most consistent form for Liverpool and England since seeing Steve,'' Gerrard said. ''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 (Johan) Cruyff turn or a 40-yard pass better, but he can help you learn what goes off inside your head.''

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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