Both manager and captain insist there will be no problems with the playing surface at the Arena da Amazonia following reports of barren and uneven patches in certain sectionsEngland manager Roy Hodgson and captain Steven Gerrard have dismissed reports of a sub-standard pitch in Manaus ahead of their World Cup opener against Italy on Saturday.
Suggestions that groundstaff at the Arena da Amazonia had covered discoloured areas of the playing surface using green spray paint were circulated in the media earlier in the week, while pictures emerged of bumpy and uneven sections.
|ENGLAND SOCIAL HUB
|Keep up with all the latest Three Lions news and get involved in the debate on Twitter with our new England Social Hub|
The pitch appeared to be in much better condition than reported during England's open training session on Friday evening, and both Gerrard and Hodgson insist there will be no problem.
"I've just been on it now, it's fine, it's very flat, I don't see any reason to be concerned about it at all," Hodgson told the media. "I think it will play well and suit both teams. The grass is short and it will be possible to play good football on it."
When captain Gerrard was asked about the newspaper reports regarding the pitch, he responded: "With experience I have learned to wait until I can get on the pitch myself, it's easy to get the wrong impression and believe the wrong thing.
"I've just been on it and it's perfectly fine. The sun is off the pitch at 16:30 and we're kicking off at 18:00 [on Saturday]. It's very zippy and it will make for a fantastic game."
"We have to be cute and clever and take the conditions into consideration but we're not worried about the pitch or the conditions, it's the same for both teams."