Hodgson Upbeat Ahead Of Italy
Having now arrived in Brazil following the overnight flight from Miami, England manager Roy Hodgson has said that our last two draws count for nothing when we open our World Cup Finals campaign against Italy next week.
Speaking to theFA.com Hodgson's only focus at the moment is on having a very good week of training so we are prepared to bring back three points from the game in Manaus.
'I'd like to win it. When we get the ball we are going to go for it, we are going to attack. We are going to encourage our attacking players to do what we do. But we are also going to make it clear to them that they can't go gung ho at any time. At all times you've got to be thinking 'what happens if it doesn't work out? Are we protected?'
The last time Hodgson met Italy in a major tournament we went out 4-2 on penalties following a goalless draw in Euro 2012, but the gaffer believes that having fewer injuries and a more wholesome squad this time, certainly stands us in good stead to put that defeat right.
'We lost four very important players and we had to draft in replacements, but of course two years down the line working with a large body of players regularly and enjoying some success during that time because of the qualifying campaign, that definitely helps you.'
What also helps us Hodgson says is the emergence of our talented youngsters that are coming into this tournament for the first time, and he believes their energy and desire to impress will help make a difference and see us through.
However he also hinted that is terms of Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Luke Shaw, he was unlikely to throw all three of them in on the opening day as he wants to evolve to the younger players as they grow at this level, citing that to give them the best chance to develop the potential everybody believes they have, is to lead with balance between youth and experience, and that's what they have been working on during training so far.
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