Roy Hodgson downplays Manaus heat

The England coach does not feel his side will need to conserve energy during its match in the rainforest against Italy.
England coach Roy Hodgson has downplayed the impact the Manaus heat will have on his team against Italy on Saturday.

The Three Lions open their World Cup campaign deep in the world's largest tropical rain forest: the Amazon.

Steamy and humid conditions are expected and how both sides fare in the Group D clash could be crucial in their hopes of reaching the last 16.

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"I don't think at this World Cup you will see a big difference in the way teams play due to conservation of energy," Hodgson told reporters. "I'm not really expecting enormous changes. What we have to do is play our football and with the 14 players at our disposition, play the football we want to play."

Hodgson also rejected suggestions from England midfielder Jack Wilshere that his side could play a different brand of football due to the heat.

"It's always unfair to ask young players those questions [about different styles of play] because I'm sure he doesn't understand what answer he should be giving," he said. "We are expecting our players to run around a lot and if I select Jack, I'll expect him to run around a lot.

"A lot has been spoken about Manaus and conservation of energy and heat. I think we just need to wait and see what Manaus brings. We'll concern ourselves then about how much conservation of energy will be necessary."

Hodgson also rejected suggestions that England had complained about having to play in Manaus.

"It's not true that we complained about Manaus or Brazil. Quite the opposite really," he said. "I think that nonsense should be put to bed right away. We would have been happy to play in any city we were drawn in. We are very much looking forward to play[ing] in the World Cup."