Roy Hodgson has dismissed the idea his England players will suffer from boredom during this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Dealing with downtime is a major part of an international footballer’s make-up, something they learn to cope with during their time in the younger age groups.
Boredom has been offered as one reason for England failing to progress beyond the quarter finals in previous tournaments.
World Cup fixtures
14 June: v Italy
19 June: v Uruguay
24 June: v Costa Rica
But Hodgson believes his 23-man squad will be mentally strong enough to handle being away from their family for up to six weeks.
He said: "If I got the 30 players, 40 players, and told them: ‘Right we’re going to be living together, we’re not going to be training every minute of the day, there’ll be free time and you’ve got to find a way of using that free time, you’ve got to find a way of amusing yourself because after lunch we say there’s a meeting at 7 o’clock and you’ve got until then to yourselves’.
"If I said ‘out of you 40 here put your hands up if you don’t fancy that’ and there won’t be one. They’re all going to say: ‘Yeah, we understand that, we want to go. It’s been my dream. All my life I’ve dreamt it’.
"It's just a complete nonsense, it's just one of those silly excuses that people use. You really cannot have that attitude or you have got to be strong enough. You've got to put your hand up and say 'I can't handle it' because we can't give you that. Unfortunately no one will say that in advance and then some of them will go to the World Cup and play badly and say to [journalists], 'I was bored' and [they will] write and say 'poor fella'."
Hodgson was in charge of Switzerland’s World Cup campaign in 1994 and took the England post shortly before Euro 2012, so he has experience of the tournament environment and he believes his players must take responsibility for keeping themselves occupied when not playing or training.
Hodgson explained: "I don’t think it’s our job to keep them occupied. I think when you sign up for the World Cup you sign up as it’s going to be.
"You’re not going to be with your wife, you’re going to not see your kids. This is something you sign up for. Once you sign up for that, you shouldn’t then be saying: ‘Oh I’m missing my family, I’m bored. Or what can you do to help me?’
"There’s nothing we can do to help you. We put on the same as every other team. There will be leisure activities, there will be a bit of free time in the afternoon. If they want to have a game of golf they can, if they want to listen to their music they can, if they want to watch a video on the TV they can.
"But what we can’t reproduce is you go to training in the morning and then you go home to your wife and family and do whatever you want to do for the rest of the day."