By Wayne Veysey
Roy Hodgson has been given assurances he will not be sacked even if England have a poor World Cup, Goal understands.
Football Association bosses have told Hodgson he will be in charge of the team’s European Championship qualifying campaign, which begins in September, whatever happens this summer.
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There is a realism at Wembley that England have perhaps the toughest of the eight groups, that the tournament is staged in unfamiliar territory outside of Europe and that the squad at the manager’s disposal offers promise rather than any guarantees of top performances.
England have been pitted against global heavyweights Italy, Copa America holders Uruguay and Costa Rica in the group stages and expectations are realistic at FA headquarters.
Goal has learned that Hodgson is likely to use the faith placed in him by his paymasters to select a bolder World Cup squad than what might have otherwise been expected.
As revealed earlier this week, rookie Everton defender John Stones is in line for a shock call-up to England's 30-man provisional World Cup squad, while international newcomers Raheem Sterling, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana are likely to be given further chance to impress Hodgson.
Versatile Liverpool full-back Jon Flanagan is also in the manager's thinking but he is competing for a place in arguably the most competitive position in the squad.
Meanwhile, Andy Carroll is back in contention for a seat on the plane to Brazil after putting his injury troubles behind him with a series of encouraging displays for West Ham. The powerhouse striker is understood to be ahead of Southampton pair Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez in the reckoning for a forward role.
Hodgson will place considerable store in club form over the final weeks of the season as he mulls over the marginal decisions before naming his 30-man provisional squad in the middle of next month.
England host Peru at Wembley on May 30 before heading to their pre-tournament base in Miami, where they will play Ecuador on June 4 and Honduras on June 7.
Hodgson will then cut seven players from the original list and name a 23-man squad that travels from the United States to Brazil for the World Cup.