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Hodgson not worried by winless warm-ups as the Ox is declared fit

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.

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.

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