Uruguay 2 England 1: Hodgson has no thoughts of quitting

England's Gary Cahill at full time. PIC: PA
England's Gary Cahill at full time. PIC: PA
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Roy Hodgson has no intention of quitting as England manager despite yesterday’s crushing defeat to Uruguay.

England were left on the brink of World Cup elimination thanks to a deadly double from Luis Suarez in Sao Paulo.

Suarez scored both his side’s goals, including an 85th-minute winner, as England suffered a 2-1 defeat - their second reverse in five days.

If Costa Rica and Italy draw on Friday afternoon, or the Central Americans beat Cesare Prandelli’s team, England will be eliminated with one match to spare.

The only way England will stay in the World Cup is if Italy win both their remaining games, and England claim a big victory against Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.

A likely first World Cup group stage exit since 1958 will not cause Hodgson to quit his role though.

“I don’t have any intention to resign,” the England manager said.

“I’m bitterly disappointed, of course, but I don’t feel I need to resign, no.”

Hodgson, who looked absolutely distraught after the match, admits that whether he stays or goes is out of his hands, though.

He continued: “On the other hand, and if the FA think I’m not the right man to do the job, that will be their decision, and not mine.

“I’ve been really happy with the way the players have responded to the work we’ve tried to.”

Hodgson was upbeat about England’s chances in the build-up to the World Cup, and there were flashes of brilliance in their play against Italy on Saturday.

But there was barely any inkling of optimism in the 66-year-old’s voice after the match in Sao Paulo.

“Our chances (of progressing) are unbelievably slim,” he said.

“It will depend on Italy winning their next two matches by a good number of goals, and us beating Costa Rica by the requisite number of goals.

“To be in with a chance of continuing we really needed a result today, a draw or a victory, and we didn’t get it.”

The players looked crestfallen as they filed out of the Arena Corinthians after the match.

“We are more then disappointed, we’re devastated,” Hodgson said.

“We believed we could do enough to get a result in this game.”

Suarez converted Edinson Cavani’s cross on a Uruguay counter to put La Celeste ahead before Rooney equalised with his first World Cup goal.

But then, with five minutes left, Gerrard accidentally flicked on a long punt from Fernando Muslera and Suarez finished picked the ball up before finishing from a tight angle.

“Having worked so hard to get back to 1-1 I believed we would go on to win the game or at least draw, so to concede the second goal is an unbelievable blow,” Hodgson added.

“It was a goal we don’t expect to concede. Long goal kicks with the type of players we have in the team, we deal with them.

“We had been in control for such a long time. After the first five minutes (of the second half) we got back on track.

“We’ve been near their goal so many times, but it doesn’t matter how many times you get near the other team’s goal, it matters how many times you put it in the back of the net and we haven’t done that enough.”

Asked if he thought England were outplayed, Hodgson was blunt in his response. “No,” he said.

The England manager gave a more expanded answer to a question on Suarez’s efforts.

The controversial Liverpool striker had knee surgery nearly five weeks ago, but he managed to beat Hart twice and chased England’s back four all night.

Surprisingly, Hodgson believes his team did a decent job keeping Suarez quiet for most of the evening.

He said: “I thought we controlled Suarez well in general play.

“He did very well to get away to the back post for the first goal but we kept him very quiet for long periods of the game.

“We’re normally used to seeing him a lot more active in and around the box. The second one was an unfortunate flick from Steven Gerrard to put him free for the goalkeeper.

“He doesn’t miss from them. To make certain, you don’t allow him the flick to put him through on the goalkeeper.”

Suarez’s place in the World Cup was in doubt when he suffered a knee injury in a training camp, but Hodgson always expected him to line up in Sao Paulo.

“We always heard that he would probably be fit for some part of the World Cup, and was targeting at least the second game,” the former Liverpool manager said.

“What the Uruguayans wanted from him today, they got. He had two goal chances and he took them both.”

England flew back to their base in Rio de Janeiro immediately after the match.

The party will fly to Belo Horizonte on Monday before their final game 24 hours later.

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