London, Dec 7(ANI): Manchester City manager Mark Hughes reckons that England's World Cup penalty takers are suffering from spot-kick nerves.
Hughes' comments came after England regulars - Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard and Spurs striker Jermain Defoe, wasted late penalties against City and Everton.
"Frank obviously was aware of the significance of that moment in the game and that, if he converted the penalty, it would be a key moment. Maybe that contributed to him being a bit over-cautious with his strike," The Sun quoted Hughes, as saying.
"At the level we are competing in, you have to take any opportunity you can get. The small percentages can make the difference between winning and losing," he added.
He further said that it was bad news for England fans and Three Lions manager Fabio Capello.
Lampard was one of three players - along with Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher - who missed in the shootout with Portugal at the last World Cup, where the team bowed out in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Lampard's Blues team-mate Michael Ballack supported him and said: "I missed a penalty this week, Frank missed one today and I hear another big player missed one today."
"It can happen. It is football. Even Germans can miss penalties, so it can happen!" (ANI)