England Manager appeared on 'Goals On Sunday' to talk about his future plans
Roy Hodgson admits he will use England's forthcoming matches against Republic of Ireland and Brazil as preparation for the autumn World Cup qualifiers.
The Three Lions welcome the Irish to Wembley Stadium on 29 May before jetting off to Rio for a showdown with the Brazilians four days later.
Hodgson will announce his squad for those games on Thursday after flying home from Amsterdam following Chelsea’s Europa League final with Benfica.
The England boss has told his players that their performances in the next two matches will have a major bearing on his selection process when the team return to World Cup qualifying action in September.
And Hodgson knocked back any suggestions the forthcoming couple of fixtures are merely ‘friendlies’. He said: “The word ‘friendly’ bothers me somewhat.
“We talk about preparation games for clubs when they’re preparing for their season and I think these are preparation games as well
“Everything I do in these games is going to be with an eye on the qualifiers because there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that it’s the qualifiers that count.
“That’s what we’re heading towards and that’s where we need our results. We don’t necessarily need them in the preparation games.
“But we do need them in September and October and these games will be very important for us to make certain that the teams we put out then are the teams that we think can win the games.”
After taking on Republic of Ireland and Brazil, England will entertain Scotland at Wembley on 14 August.
The Three Lions’ World Cup qualifying campaign then resumes on 6 September with a home match against Moldova before a trip to Ukraine four days later.
Hodgson’s men are currently second in Group H, two points behind leaders Montenegro having played a game more.
But the former West Brom boss is confident his team have what it takes to seal their place at next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
He added: “We’re disappointed that we’ve had three draws in our six games because at least one of those should have been a victory which would have helped us up the table a bit more.
“But we’re in a good position, we’ve got three of the last four matches at home and I think the team is, if anything, getting stronger so I’m very confident.”
He added: "The Ukraine game at home we played very well and were unlucky not to win that one.
"We haven’t played as well in the away games in Poland and Montenegro as we’re capable of playing but having said that I still think we have the capabilities to get the points we need from the next games.
"We just need that bit of luck that when you announce the squad that the players you want to use are available.
"If you remember in the last one we selected four centre-backs and all four dropped out and we had to go and find another two to play in those positions – you don’t really want that situation.
"You really want a situation where when you name your 20-22 man squad that the main ones you’ve chosen are fit and available to play."
Hodgson celebrated a year in charge of the national side earlier this month and paid tribute to his Club England colleagues.
He said: “I’ve had great support from everyone. I’ve got a great staff, the people at The FA have been very, very good and I’ve enjoyed working with the players.”