Roy Hodgson says England must keep their head during World Cup Qualification.
Roy Hodgson says he and his players will not to underestimate the threat of their opponents when they begin their qualifying campaign for World Cup 2014
The Three Lions kick off with a trip to Moldova on 7 September before facing Ukraine at Wembley four days later
, and they will also have to face Poland, Montenegro and San Marino home and away in their bid to reach Brazil 2014. Hodgson, who is about to embark on his first qualifying campaign as England Manager, believes his side have been handed a tough draw.
Hodgson was speaking at a special ‘Road to Brazil’ event
in London with the managers of the three other home nations, hosted by Lead Sponsors Vauxhall.
"The important thing is not to underestimate anybody," he said. "When you’re England, every opponent can be regarded by the general public as a team that’s easy to beat, but we all know that that’s not the case.
"For me it’s going to be very much about taking one match at a time and trying to get a result in that game.
"In our group, I suppose we will be regarded as favourites, but on the other hand, there’s going to be a lot of teams taking points from each other. So you’ve just got to make sure you keep your head and keep plugging away, because you don’t know where other teams will drop their points."
Hodgson also spoke about his recent trip to Brazil, where he and an FA delegation run the rule over potential training bases
, should they qualify for the World Cup. Even though the qualifying group is yet to begin, FIFA request that all nations involved submit their preferences for a hotel and training ground base in August, so Hodgson took the opportunity to travel to Brazil in late July and see the possibilities.
“You don't really want to be necessarily choosing a hotel with a training venue you don't like and vice-versa. The type of hotels that you're likely to stay in won't be the sort of hotels that national teams like to stay in, where you can essentially commandeer a hotel and fashion it to your requirements.
“It'll be very difficult to get the type of privacy that national teams prefer, if they can get it, when they go to major tournaments."
However, Hodgson believes five-time World Cup winners Brazil will make fine hosts. “It's a country which is totally dominated by football,” he added. “They're also known, of course, for their carnivals and party atmosphere. They're [the fans] going to be a lot keener to go to Brazil than perhaps some other countries that are occasionally chosen to be a World Cup venue.”
Tickets for England first two Wembley qualifiers, versus Ukraine on 11 September and San Marino on 12 October, are available to book online. Click here for fulls details...