Fifa World Cup 2014: Do not write England off, says Roy Hodgson

World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson says England players in great form

England manager Roy Hodgson says his side's chances cannot be written off at this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

England open their campaign against Italy on 14 June before two more Group D games against Uruguay and Costa Rica.

"I definitely don't think that we are favourites to win the tournament but I also refuse to believe we need to be written off," Hodgson told BBC Sport.

"If these players can achieve what we see them achieve sometimes, then we have a chance."

Roy Hodgson has been visiting Manaus, as Dan Roan reports

Hodgson was appointed in May 2012 just before Euro 2012, and led England to the quarter-finals where they were beaten by Italy on penalties.

His side narrowly qualified for Brazil 2014 as they finished one point ahead of Ukraine in their group, but Hodgson is pleased at the progress under his tenure.

"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."

England follow up the game against Italy by playing Uruguay in Sao Paulo on 19 June and Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte on 24 June.

"It would be very important [to win against Italy] and it would be a tremendous bonus if we can do that," added Hodgson.

"How you go about doing it is by trying to prepare the team as best you can so they are ready for the challenge.

"But there are no magical solutions. Wanting something is no guarantee of getting it but it all comes down to making certain that the team is well prepared for the task ahead of them.

"Equally important is that they realise how important that task is and how much it means to so many people and themselves."

Meanwhile, Hodgson believes supporters travelling to Brazil will have to place their faith in the authorities over their safety.

A potential repeat of the violent protests that dogged the Confederations Cup is among the concerns for organisers.

"You do think about the fans. As far as we [the team] are concerned we are going to have a lot of protection, and it's more for the fans that this is a larger concern," said Hodgson.

"But I have great faith in the government, the local organising committee and Fifa.

"I have to say that I don't want to suggest there is no reason for concern. Of course, there is.

"From my point of view I just have to be trusting in our security, the security of the Brazilian government and all the things that Fifa will do to make it secure for the fans and the players."

Six World Cup venues were not ready by the Fifa deadline of 31 December 2013 but the England manager is confident Brazil will host a successful tournament.

"Fifa and the Brazilian government has put in a lot of work," said Hodgson. "So I don't see any reasons for us technicians to doubt them."

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