Wembley Stadium

Next Game

England v San Marino

Thursday, 09 October 2014, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

St Jakob Park

Last Game

Switzerland 0 - 2 England

Monday, 08 September 2014, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

Hodgson unfazed by draw

Roy Hodgson admits England have a tough World Cup group but insists his squad can shine in Brazil.

Last Updated: 07/12/13 at 06:28 Post Comment

England manager Roy Hodgson during Friday's World Cup draw in Brazil

England manager Roy Hodgson during Friday's World Cup draw in Brazil

Hodgson seemed reasonably happy after Friday's World Cup draw that placed the Three Lions alongside former winners Italy and Uruguay, as well as Central American nation Costa Rica, in Group D.

While many knowledgeable observers believe the group is difficult, particularly as it includes one long journey north to the equatorial city of Manaus, the England manager is not too concerned.

With regards to the draw, Hodgson told Sky Sports News: "In 2010, everyone was writing what an easy group England had and predicted that they would sail through but it didn't happen. Each game was tough.

"Having a group people say is tough can, in someways, be an advantage.

"Don't forget we've unearthed some good players in the last few years and rejuvenated the squad.

"It is definitely a lot stronger and deeper, and hopefully we won't get too many injuries before then."

England start against four-times champions Italy in Manaus, before heading south to Sao Paulo to face Uruguay - winners of the inaugural World Cup and again in 1950 when the tournament was previously held in Brazil.

Speaking about Uruguay and their star striker Luis Suarez of Liverpool, Hodgson added: "We know what a good player he is, trying to put a spoke in England's wheels.

"But we have good players too. Maybe we'll all be talking about Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge when the tournament is over.

"We know less about Costa Rica but they are a good team too."

As for opening their campaign in Manaus - the second most northerly stadium at the Finals - he went on: "It's probably what Brazil's about. Going north to Manaus, it's such a fascinating place.

"It will be an experience for us, not just in football terms but also life terms.

"I'm just pleased that we are not drawn in a group where all the games are being played in the north - that was my biggest fear.

"I always believed we would get one game in the north. Most teams do, so you'd have to be very lucky to get in a group where there are no games in the northern part of the country.

"Perhaps it's just as well that it's against another northern team."

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli confirmed he will ask for drinks breaks during the match, and Hodgson said he would support him.

"The idea of drinks breaks has been mentioned and we'll back that," said Hodgson, who campaigned for drinks breaks in the 1994 World Cup when he was Switzerland boss.

"I mentioned that in 1994 along with the Italians. Any proposals anyone has that are sensible, then we would support. I think it's going to be necessary, I really do.

"We don't want a situation where the fourth official has got to try to stop people taking drinks breaks, so you'd want an official one really.

"I know the Italians intend to bring this up and they'll certainly have our backing."

Prandelli said: "The problem is not the rivals, but it is the hot venue. We need to prepare the best physically and arrive with 23 athletes. If we arrive physically well prepared, we can get a good result."

Hodgson also confirmed he has no plans to change their training base from Rio de Janeiro.

He stressed: "Our base in Rio will work quite well now with Belo and Sao Paulo, so we'll be left with just one long trip."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

riting a minute by minute account on Berbatov would be like chronicling the days of the guy punished for sloth in the movie Se7en. Day 4 - lay in bed, did nothing - 15th minute, stood there did nothing .

lustral
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

Footer 365

Premier League: Liverpool looking for Mario Balotelli to learn from past stars

Brendan Rodgers hopes Mario Balotelli will take inspiration from the likes of Luis Suarez as he settles at Liverpool.

Premier League: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew aware of pressure

Alan Pardew admits both he and his Newcastle squad have to 'stand up and deliver' as pressure mounts at St James' Park.

Europa League can boost Everton season, says captain Phil Jagielka

Phil Jagielka says playing in the Europa League will not harm Everton's hopes of making an impact in the domestic game.

Mail Box

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

B**locks To That, I'm Going To Sit In The Shed

Arsenal supporters given their understandable reaction to the debacle in Dortmund, whilst Liverpool fans weren't too impressed either. Still, at least they won...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property