ROY HODGSON touched down in Rio yesterday and issued a calming message to those who were unimpressed by England's back-to-back draws against Ecuador and Honduras.
England rounded off their week-long stay in Miami with a storm-affected goalless stalemate against Honduras. That draw came three days after England failed to beat Ecuador, who exposed England's defensive frailties on the counter-attack.
Much harder opponents lie in wait in Brazil. Next Saturday they face four-time world champions Italy and then tackle Uruguay before a final game against Costa Rica.
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Hodgson insists very little should be read in to the friendlies, and that his side were on course to play well.
"I have to say these warm-up games, I don't know that they necessarily answer many questions," the England manager said.
"You answer your questions over a long period of time. When I look at the other warm-up games I am pretty certain I am not alone in thinking it's just a way of getting yourself to Rio where the real tournament begins."
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also be fit to play his part, insisted Hodgson, after damaging his medial knee ligament against Ecuador.
"He will make the tournament without a shadow of a doubt," Hodgson said. "That's good news."
Oxlade-Chamberlain had hobbled off disconsolate on Wednesday, and Hodgson was relieved that his squad had escaped Saturday's match against Honduras without picking up any further injuries.