Hodgson: Brazil friendly can't be used to measure England progress

Ahead of Sunday's meeting at the Maracana, the Three Lions boss concedes his side are not winning enough games but insists the game won't be used as a barometer of his reign

England boss Roy Hodgson is adamant Sunday's friendly with Brazil can't be used to measure the progress the squad has made during his first year in charge.
Hodgson was the subject of criticism from Gary Lineker after Wednesday's 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland at Wembley, with the former Three Lions striker slamming his tactical approach as a "return to the dark ages".

The 65-year-old says he is happy to take on appraisals from his peers but rejected suggestions that the team are playing poorly and remains upbeat that qualification for next year's World Cup in Brazil will be achieved.

"I'm looking forward to coming back here again next year," he said in an interview with BBC Sport "I'm enjoying the job every bit as much [as before].

"I'm perfectly happy for anyone who wants to to come up with criticism. They are quite entitled to it but I'm more than happy with the way we are playing and moving forward.

"I am picking a team at the end of the season with the players available to me. In September there might be as many as six or eight very, very interesting, very talented players pushing for a place in the team.

"I don't really understand how a game at the end of a long season here in Brazil can be a tremendous barometer."

Asked if England were securing enough victories to make them confident of qualifying for Brazil 2014, Hodgson admitted: "No we're not.

"One of the areas where we've been, to say the least, unfortunate, is in the choice of front players and the availability of front players."