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Hodgson: Fearless England will take it to Uruguay logo 18-06-2014

By Kris Voakes at the Arena Corinthians

Roy Hodgson is confident that his England team can continue to be fearless in their approach when they take on Uruguay in a crucial World Cup Group D clash.

The two teams face off in Sao Paulo on Thursday knowing that defeat could end hopes of progressing to the knockout stage, but Hodgson insists his side will be geared up to attack once more following their 2-1 defeat to Italy in Manuas.

Asked on Wednesday if he is confident his team can maintain a fearless gameplan, the 66-year-old insisted he has faith in his players to do so.

"The simple answer is I am confident. It's like anything else, in that you have three important games and each game stands alone," said Hodgson.

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"Now we're just focused on Thursday night. I think it will be a very exciting match between two good teams. We always knew that in this group one team at least would find it difficult to qualify because there were more than two contenders for the qualification places.

"But we need to do everything within our power to make sure it is us that go through and not Uruguay."

One attacker who could be key to England's bid for progression is Wayne Rooney and Hodgson was more than happy to stand up for his No.10, claiming the player himself is happy to shoulder the burden of being one of the country's footballing pillars.

"I was more than satisfied with Rooney against Italy and it was interesting to get the statistics back and find out that he ran more than any other England player and had more sprints than any other England player, which maybe wasn't evident to everybody watching," stated Hodgson.

"But I'm afraid that Wayne alongside Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are the three players with World Cup and European experience. They are the players with 100 caps, or in Wayne's case 80-plus, and they have to accept that the focus is on them because everyone understands you can't expect young players to shoulder the heavy part of the burden.

"The good thing is, Wayne is more than happy to do that. And if he plays tomorrow night I'm sure you will see that in his performance."

The vital Group D fixture kicks off at 21:00CET on Thursday, with both sides seeking their first points of the tournament.

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