Hodgson talks up England World Cup chances

England manager Roy Hodgson has warned not to write his team off at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, despite acknowledging that they are not among the favourites, BBC Sport has reported.

The Three Lions were given a tough looking group in the draw in December. Their opening game will be against Euro 2012 runners-up Italy on June 14, before they take on Copa America holders Uruguay and a resurgent Costa Rica for a place in the second round.

Hodgson’s team are not among the favourites to win the tournament, with the hosts, Spain, Germany and Argentina seen by many as the frontrunners. However, the England boss believes that England should not be written off. On a visit to Manaus, the setting for the Italy clash, he said: “I definitely don’t think that we are favourites to win the tournament but I also refuse to believe that we need to be written off.

“If these players can achieve what we see them achieve sometimes, then we have a chance. I feel good. I’ve enjoyed working with the players over the last two years,” he said while on a trip to the Amazonian city of Manaus, where the game with Italy will take place.

“I’ve every confidence in them. It is nice to see that there are a lot of good young players coming through. We are achieving a better balance between experience and youth. It’s going to be very good if we can marry those things together.”

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