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European Qualifiers Group E

Hodgson backs Dyke forecast

England boss Roy Hodgson has endorsed Greg Dyke's speech and agreed the team will not be favourites at the 2014 World Cup.

Last Updated: 05/09/13 at 23:21 Post Comment

Dyke, Football Association chairman, delivered a hard-hitting talk across a number of subjects on Wednesday outlining his fears over opportunities for homegrown players in the Premier League and predicted the team would struggle in Brazil in two years.

Hodgson insisted his only focus was the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, but was comfortable with Dyke's slightly gloomy forecast.

"I'm not suggesting we shouldn't think about English football and what's good for English football," he said. "I endorse all of these things but our concern is can we beat Moldova and get the points we need in Ukraine?

"I'm pleased he made his speech and created so much interest and debate. As an Englishman I endorse most of what he says and it's a complicated subject, but the only thing I can to do today is say we will concentrate on the games. We won't get involved in the details of Greg's speech and what that means for England."

Dyke also stated on Tuesday that the national team should aim to reach the Euro 2020 semi-finals and win the World Cup in 2022.

"It's quite intelligent to have some targets to reach," Hodgson added. "I very much doubt whether we are top of the bookmakers' odds (for the 2014 World Cup) at the moment.

"First we have to qualify then we'll try to get better before Brazil comes round and then we'll do our best to win it. What bothers me is not whether we're going to win the World Cup.

"What bothers me is making certain we get the performances in the next four games and that we'll be going to the World Cup. When we're there, we'll set about winning it."

England skipper Steven Gerrard also insisted the activities on the pitch over the next five days was top priority for him and his team-mates.

"I echo what the manager says," the Liverpool midfielder said. "I don't want to get involved in a worldwide debate - it's not the right time.

"For me it's six points in my mind and getting to the next World Cup is my priority. I won't be around for those other World Cups - I'll be at home like most other fans!"

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