Hodgson: We'll be brave in Brazil

Roy Hodgson has vowed that England will go on the attack at this summer's World Cup.

Roy Hodgson expects England to ask questions of Italy
Roy Hodgson expects England to ask questions of Italy

Hodgson is counting down the days until England kick off their World Cup campaign against Italy in Manaus on June 14.

The last time England met Italy in a major tournament was in Euro 2012, when they lost on penalties after a dull 0-0 draw over 120 minutes.

Hodgson has, unfairly to some extent, earned a reputation as a conservative coach, but the former Liverpool manager says his England squad will not hold back at the World Cup.

"We will be brave, we will believe in ourselves and we will risk defeat," Hodgson told talkSPORT.

"We won't try and sneak our way through the games because I think with the type of players we have that wouldn't suit us.

"We have to allow our players to express themselves in the same way they do in the top Premier League teams, and I don't think you will see England sit back against Italy. I hope that we will have a team on the field that is good enough to ask enough questions of the Italians.

"We don't feel we need to concentrate all our efforts on containing them - we want to ask a lot of questions of them."

England came through their qualifying campaign unbeaten, but they received criticism for less than inspiring draws against Poland, Montenegro and Ukraine.

England also lost to Chile and Germany in November, but Hodgson used the double-header to blood the likes of Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez, who are now serious contenders for the coach's 23-man party, which will be announced on May 13.

Hodgson then used the March friendly win over Denmark to hand Luke Shaw his first cap, and the teenage left-back is now also another player who is capable of forcing his way into the World Cup squad - possibly at the expense of Chelsea's Ashley Cole.

Hodgson has spent much time over the last few months looking at his players in Premier League action and he is now closing in on his final squad selection.

"I have got quite a few names in my head," he added.

"I have had a lot of time to think about it and naming the squad will be a tough decision. I will have to disappoint players.

"The introduction of many of the younger players (in November and March) has given us an injection of pace and has given us the injection of good technical ability."

England face Peru, Honduras and Ecuador in warm-up matches before flying to Brazil, where they will take on Uruguay and Costa Rica as well as Italy in Group D.