sport

Hodgson: Ox will be ready

Roy Hodgson endured a frustrating night against Honduras, but offered a positive update on the fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain afterwards.

England were held to a second successive draw in their pre-World Cup preparations on Saturday as a Honduras side reduced to 10 men midway through the second half ground out a 0-0 stalemate in Miami.

Hodgson had seen his side unable to overcome Ecuador three days earlier and now has no more warm-up games in which to fine-tune his plans for Brazil, with the tournament getting underway on Thursday.

England's first outing will be against Italy on June 14, and there is a chance that Arsenal midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain will be available for that contest.

Having suffered a knee injury against Ecuador that was expected to keep him out of action for up to three weeks, the highly-rated midfielder has made impressive progress in his recovery to suggest that he still has a prominent role to play.

Hodgson told ITV: "It's time for the real thing now.

"Everyone is fit. Oxlade-Chamberlain is making good progress. I think he'll make the tournament without a shadow of a doubt."

England will be looking to take every positive they can as they ready themselves for a pursuit of global glory, with Hodgson admitting that little went their way against Honduras.

A 45-minute delay to wait for an electrical storm to pass did both sides few favours in the first half, while Honduras' full-blooded approach after the re-start saw them lose Brayan Beckeles to a second yellow card and threaten to cause serious damage to those in the red of England.

Hodgson said of the encounter as a whole: "They were quite physical.

"It was a real stop-start game, one of the most frustrating I've been involved in for a long time. We had a long stoppage, I thought we dealt with it and in the second half it was attack v defence.

"They got their men behind the ball and we didn't take our chances. We attempted to make them but this is a game I will soon forget.

"I will take the draw and that we got away without injuries and that we have experience against Central American opposition."