Fifa World Cup 2014

'Devastated' Roy Hodgson has high hopes for England's future

Manager puts faith in young talent as England make their earliest exit since 1958 World Cup

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 June, 2014, 1:12am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 June, 2014, 1:15am

England manager Roy Hodgson believes there are exciting times ahead for his youthful squad despite overseeing his country's first group-phase elimination at a World Cup for 56 years.

Costa Rica's shock 1-0 win over Italy in Recife condemned England to a first-round exit for the first time since Just Fontaine and a teenaged Pele were plundering goals at the 1958 tournament in Sweden.

We had high hopes, we thought we could make an impact. But unfortunately we haven't won the games
Roy Hodgson

After an unbeaten qualifying campaign and pre-competition training camps that Hodgson described as "perfect", England's World Cup lasted just six days, with consecutive 2-1 losses to Italy and Uruguay.

Bottom of group D, England now face the ignominy of playing their final game against a Costa Rica team who could rest players in preparation for the last 16.

"I'm very low, yes. So are the players," he said.

"We had high hopes, we thought we could make an impact. But unfortunately we haven't won the games. To make an impact, you've got to win games, and we've lost both our games."

There was a sliver of good news for Hodgson when Football Association chairman Greg Dyke announced that the 66-year-old would be allowed to see out his contract, which runs until 2016.

Hodgson has blooded promising young players such as Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley in Brazil and he backed them to continue improving in the years leading up to the 2016 European Championship in France.

"I believe the team going forward will be a very good team," he said.

"I think there are good young players. Even against Uruguay we saw some good individual performances and the young ones that came on, even they did quite well.

"But results colour everything. We played against a very tough-tackling and strong, defensive Uruguayan team.

"I don't think there's any need to have any doubts this England group of players will go on to do good things in the time ahead."

He added: "I'm proud of the way they've approached this tournament and everything they put into it. At the moment I'm just devastated they got nothing out of it."

Dyke recently published proposals aimed at increasing the dwindling number of England-eligible players playing in the Premier League, with caps on non-European Union players one of his initiatives.

It was a member of the Premier League's foreign legion, Liverpool's Luis Suarez, who did the damage for Uruguay in Sao Paulo, but Hodgson thinks that the presence of talented overseas players could actually inspire English footballers.

"The Premier League is always going to attract the best players in the world because it's got the most money," Hodgson said.

"The best players play where the money is. That's going to increase the quality of the Premier League."