The England national team manager Roy Hodgson has said that he would be happy even if the England national team made it to the 2014 World Cup only in the play-offs. England are one of the favourites to qualify for the competition from the group stages after they have made a good start to the qualification campaign, but the presence of several high-profile teams like Belgium and Ukraine mean that qualification is not guaranteed for the team. Further, they are already in the second place behind Montenegro, who currently at the table by four points ahead of England.

Roy Hodgson’s men recently suffered draws against Ukraine and Poland, which have meant that we have not been able to occupy the top spot going into the new year. England were also recently defeated 4-2 by the spectacular Swedish team. Hodgson has said that the most important thing is to play in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and it does not matter whether the team qualifies through the play-offs or directly from the group stages. England lost failed to qualify for a major tournament back in 2008 when they did not appear for the Euro 2008. Hodgson has suggested that the current crop of England players do not need any additional motivation apart from the prospect of playing in the World Cup.

“If we don’t succeed in being No1, I’d be more than happy to go into the play-offs. The important thing is we get one of those two positions. The group we are in was quite underestimated but that is often the case. I can assure the England football fans there is nothing the players want more. They don’t need motivation, they need to perform,” said Hodgson. England will be playing against the world cup host Brazil in a friendly match in February.