UK & World News

  • 18 February 2014, 7:39

Brazil 2014 World Cup Glory In Hodgson's Dreams

England boss Roy Hodgson has told Sky News that he dreams at night of winning the World Cup and returning home to a hero's welcome.

Hodgson has been visiting the Amazonia Arena in Manaus where England will play their first group match in the tournament against Italy on June 14.

There have been fears the tropical heat and humidity in the Amazonian city will make it difficult for England's players.

But Hodgson walked on the pitch at 6pm local time, the same time as the game against Italy kicks off, and said he was delighted with what he found. 

The brand new stadium is not quite finished and Hodgson and other officials had to wear protective helmets during their visit as work continued on the arena's roof.

He told Sky News: "It looks as if you could step out there straight away and play.

"I'm impressed and if the temperature stays like this I'm even impressed by that. At the moment it's not as overpowering as we were led to believe it would be."

England are struggling to get into the bookmakers' list of the top ten nations likely to win the tournament, but Hodgson admits he allows himself to dream of glory.

"We football people, we deal to some extent in dreams.

"It would be foolish, I think, if you were too pragmatic, too bogged down by the realities of the situation. 

"You've got to, when you put your head on the pillow at night, imagine your team getting the greatest successes, playing very well and coming back to a hero's welcome because otherwise it would become a very boring exercise.

"We all allow ourselves to dream a little bit but you have to marry that with the reality of the situation."

England will be based in Rio de Janeiro, but this week there have been gun battles in a favela not far from the team's hotel.

But Hodgson says he is not concerned and trusts the Football Association's security advisers to keep them safe.

The FA seems likely to offer him a new contract regardless of how the team perform at the World Cup, but he does not want to talk about his future for now.

"I don't think there's any need to talk about 2016 yet," he said.

"We've got such a big moment ahead of us in 2014 with the World Cup. The best thing is to focus all of our attention on that and see how far we can go.

"It would be nice if we could go all the way - that would be what we're trying to do, and then when it's over, we'll start rethinking and planning for 2016."

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.

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