sport

Hodgson ready to take risks

Roy Hodgson admits England must show plenty of attacking ambition if they are going to compete with the top teams in this summer's World Cup.

England face a testing start to the tournament after being drawn in Group D alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

An opening match against the Italians should give a clear indication of England's qualification chances and Hodgson's men will be hoping to avoid another painful defeat at the hands of their European rivals.

The last time England met Italy in a major tournament was in Euro 2012, when they lost on penalties after a dull 0-0 draw over 120 minutes.

Hodgson admits a safety-first approach will not suit his current crop of young players and has urged England to go for the jugular.

"We will be brave, we will believe in ourselves and we will risk defeat," Hodgson told talksport.

"We won't try and sneak our way through the games because I think with the type of players we have that wouldn't suit us.

"We have to allow our players to express themselves in the same way they do in the top Premier League teams, and I don't think you will see England sit back against Italy. I hope that we will have a team on the field that is good enough to ask enough questions of the Italians.

"We don't feel we need to concentrate all our efforts on containing them - we want to ask a lot of questions of them."

The list of World Cup hopefuls will be whittled down in the coming months and Southampton trio Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Luke Shaw have staked their claims, while others appear to have fallen out of favour.

Hodgson is still considering his selection, but has hinted that he will pick a youthful travelling party.

"I have got quite a few names in my head," he said.

"I have had a lot of time to think about it and naming the squad will be a tough decision. I will have to disappoint players.

"The introduction of many of the younger players (in November and March) has given us an injection of pace and has given us the injection of good technical ability."