• England

Hodgson fears jungle draw at World Cup

ESPN staff
December 3, 2013
Roy Hodgson is not worrying over the 2014 World Cup draw, which takes place on December 6 © Getty Images

Roy Hodgson says he is more concerned about where England might play next summer than who the opposition will be as Friday's 2014 World Cup draw edges closer, as they could potentially be based in the Amazon jungle.

Manager Hodgson will discover who lies in store for his side at next year's tournament when the draw takes place in Salvador, Brazil this week.

As an unseeded nation, England are guaranteed to face one of the teams in the top pot of seeds, which includes the likes of Brazil, Spain, Germany and Argentina.

However, Hodgson says that more of a worry to him is where exactly the games will take place, given the vast size of the host nation.

"The venues we play in do worry me more than the opponents. Manaus will be a difficult venue for everyone - but for northern European players it will be a bit harder," Hodgson said.

"The tropicality of Manaus is the problem. I'm not an expert on the venues, so I don't want to go too deep into it, but Manaus is the place ideally to avoid and Porto Alegre in the south is the place ideally to get. You have a bit better chance if you get a venue where the climate is kinder.

"I think [the draw] is a time when speculation is rife and people have a lot of fun looking at the potential possibilities," Hodgson said. "It is a nice game to play but I have got to say that I have not involved myself too much in that, we will get what we get really, the most important thing is to be there.

"Then you always hope that the draw is going to be kind to you in terms of where you are going to be asked to play. There are venues in Brazil that will be harder to play in than others.

"Maybe in terms of the teams you are drawn against, some on paper look harder than others, but I'm more concerned if anything by the venues than by the teams we draw.

"All discussion about teams and their strengths is based, not on speculation, but we don't know. We don't know how good Argentina are, we would all think 'blimey, Argentina are strong' but we don't know that.

"They might be no stronger than Chile. The good thing is that if we get Argentina, for example, we will be there and have a chance to play them and believe we can go out and beat them.'

"We will hope for our best but it is like Forrest Gump and his box of chocolates. We will open it up and see what we get, then try and digest it.''

The World Cup will be Hodgson's second tournament in charge of England following on from Euro 2012, where he guided his side to the quarter-finals despite only arriving in the job six weeks prior to the start of the competition.

And when asked if England will be prepared for next summer's tournament, Hodgson replied: "We will be, without a doubt. The great thing about working with the FA is that they are incredibly well prepared.

"I came in at late notice with the Euros and a lot of preparation had already been done and it was first class and it will be first class again. We have got a lot of experience of tournaments, of World Cups and European Championships. We canvassed the players and there is a lot of experience among the players, things they thought worked well and things they thought didn't work as well.

"We have been occupying our time thinking about a lot of things we can do. But, of course, until we get the draw and we know where we are and when our first game is we have got to leave the actual detail - but in general we have got it all organised.''

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