England manager Roy Hodgson has promised his team will go on the offensive at the FIFA World Cup™ after being criticised for a cautious approach at UEFA EURO 2012. Hodgson's side kick off their World Cup campaign against Italy in Manaus on 14 June in a rematch of England's last game at a major tournament.
England were beaten by Italy on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the EURO 2012 quarter-finals and that ultra-conservative display earned Hodgson widespread criticism. The former Liverpool manager already had a reputation as a cautious coach, prompting fears that England will bow out in timid fashion in Brazil as well.
But Hodgson, speaking to TalkSport on Friday, said: "We will be brave, we will believe in ourselves and we will risk defeat. 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."
England came through their qualifying campaign unbeaten, but draws against Poland, Montenegro and Ukraine failed to impress fans and pundits alike. England also lost friendlies to Chile and Germany in November, but Hodgson has at least blooded the likes of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Jay Rodriguez, who are now serious contenders for the coach's 23-man party, which will be announced on 13 May.
"I have got quite a few names in my head," Hodgson added. "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." England face Peru, Honduras and Ecuador in warm-up matches before flying to Brazil, where they will take on Uruguay and Costa Rica as well as Italy in Group D.