England’s chances ‘unbelievably slim’, says Roy Hodgson

SAO PAULO, June 20: A stony-faced Roy Hodgson said England’s chances of staying in the World Cup were “unbelievably slim” Thursday after Luis Suarez’s double strike consigned them to a 2-1 defeat to Uruguay.

Hodgson said he held out little hope of survival after England’s second straight defeat left them on the verge of their first exit at the group stage in a World Cup since 1958.

“Our chance is unbelievably slim. It will depend of course on Italy winning their next two matches and winning by a number of goals, and us beating Costa Rica by the requisite number of goals,” he said.

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

The downbeat England boss said his team managed to keep Suarez, who was returning from knee surgery quiet for long periods but a late error by captain Steven Gerrard let him in for the winner.

“We’re normally used to seeing him a lot more active around the penalty area than we saw today.

“The second goal as you probably saw was an unfortunate flick off Steven Gerrard’s head which put him free with the goalkeeper. And when he comes free with the goalkeeper he doesn’t miss from that area.

“Ideally your only plan to deal with that would be to make certain that you don’t allow the flick to put him through and free with the goalkeeper.”

Hodgson added: “Two chances came his way and as the top player he is, he took both chances — and probably ended our chances of staying in the competition.”

However, he refused to concede that England were outplayed by Uruguay. “No I don’t,” was his curt response when a journalist posed the question.

Click here to see the FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil Schedule

For FIFA World Cup 2014 news updates click here