Hodgson: Tough draw for us

Boss Roy Hodgson admits that he is struggling to "put a positive spin" on England's draw at the World Cup finals.

Last Updated: 06/12/13 at 21:07 Post Comment

Roy Hodgson: Attended Friday's draw in Salvador

Roy Hodgson: Attended Friday's draw in Salvador

In Salvador on Friday, England were drawn with Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica in Group D, with the opening match against the Italians in the one place Hodgson did not want to go - Manaus, in the Amazon.

History is also against them. In major tournaments against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica, England have played five games and won none.

Uruguay, who reached the semi-finals in 2010 and will have Luis Suarez leading the attack, and Italy, who knocked Hodgson's team out of Euro 2012, are ranked sixth and seventh in the world rankings while Costa Rica are 31st in the world - 18 places below England.

"It's a tough group, there's no doubt about that," said Hodgson, who was at the draw with FA chairman Greg Dyke, in his initial reaction to Group D. "In Italy and Uruguay, it's almost as though we have got two number-one seeds in our group.

"It is quite difficult to put a positive spin on the quality of our opponents because even Costa Rica, the least known, are a very strong team. Jurgen Klinsmann was warning me how tough they are after playing them in qualifying.

"We know how good Italy are because we lost to them in the quarter-finals at the Euros. That game is going to be tough from a climate point of view for both teams. We're both in the same boat."

That all-European game is England's first in the group, taking place in the Amazonian city of Manaus on Saturday, 14 June (kick-off 2am UK time on Sunday).

The hot, humid venue was the one place Hodgson had said he did not want to play, given that it is a five-and-a-half hour flight away from their intended base in Brazil.

However, he drew some comfort from the fact that Italy are also unlikely to be suited to playing in such conditions and that his team have only one trip to Brazil's north west.

The England manager said: "There were not going to be many scenarios where we were going to be jumping for joy.

"I suppose one positive is that we have only got one long trip then the other two to Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte are relatively short and in the same neck of the woods.

"I am still very positive about the whole affair, as you never know. You do not win football matches on paper.

"You go out on each occasion 11 v 11. If you are well prepared, you have a chance to win all three games.

"We are there, we have an interesting group with three top-quality opponents. It will be a chance to see the north of Brazil. It will be a very interesting experience."

When England were confirmed as the final team in Group D, Dyke drew his fingers across his throat in a cut-throat gesture.

Wayne Rooney, England's striker and talisman, is apparently unfazed about the task facing the country in the first stage of the finals.

He wrote on his official Facebook page: "If we want to be the best, we have to beat the best. Tough group but really looking forward to it! Roll on Brazil 2014!"

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

C

an we get one on the similarities between this year's Arsenal and 5 years ago. Or any other number you care to pick frankly...it shouldn't be hard.

mc1728
Liverpool: Five Similiarities Five Years On

R

icky van Wolfswinkel's remarkable record of one goal from one game at least deserves an honourable mention. And I'm willing to bet that at least one of Costa, Ulloa or Enner Valencia will earn a place on the list by the end of the season. Probably not Costa

stevenjameshyde
Top Ten PL Strikers Who Started Like A Train...

I

will also give up birthday Christmas and bacon for this to happen

badwolf
Ronaldo return ‘in place’

Footer 365

Premier League: Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez battling testicular cancer

Newcastle United winger Jonas Gutierrez has revealed he has been receiving treatment for testicular cancer.

Champions League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits Dortmund deserved victory

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits his side were 'average' following their 2-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

Champions League: Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praises side after Ludogorets win

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praised his side's character as they battled to a late 2-1 win over Ludogorets.

Mail Box

Who's More Miserable - Baggies Or Mags?

There's not a lot to choose between the misery of West Brom fans and the misery of Newcastle fans. We have mails on them, 'only QPR' and lots on Man United...

Forget it, Ronaldo Won't Come Back

A varied morning mailbox, with thoughts on Ronaldo, Daley Blind = Michael Carrick, Ed Woodward redemption, stick with Pardew, QPR's name change and marbles...

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