Hodgson: Balanced training is vital
Roy Hodgson will take care not to push England's players too hard in the build-up to the World Cup after an intense Premier League season.
Hodgson's predecessor as England boss, Fabio Capello, instituted a tough regime including double training sessions at altitude during the weeks before the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
Hodgson admits he has a long list of ideas but accepts many of the players will have had less than a week of rest before joining up with the squad and that the key to maximising England's chances may lie in not giving the players an overly strenuous preparation camp before Brazil.
He said in an interview on fifa.com: "I need to be very careful, but we need to do our work and there's a lot of work I want to do. I have to find a way of doing it but not push the players beyond their limits. Getting the balance right in everything is all of football and all of sport.
"We have to understand that the players we're working with, all they've had is one week [of rest]. And some might not even have that if they're going to FA Cup finals and European Cup finals, which we hope they will.
"As a national coach in England, you work with the premises you work with. The Premier League is what it is.
"Some people will see the intensity and quality as a great advantage for your players; it will make them better. Some will see it as a disadvantage because the players play at such a high level and such intensity, it's difficult for them to drum up that intensity with a very short space of rest time.
"We have to keep those things in perspective and balance out our ability to work 12 hours a day at quite a high and intensive level, vis-a-vis the players' ability to work at a high intensity on the back of 38 important league games, possibly as many as another 12 important games for their club.
"That's something where perhaps experience could play a part. I'm not certain I had quite the same balanced view of that situation going when I was coaching Switzerland in 1994, but luckily I was dealing with players who were coming from a much less intensive league."
Hodgson has put together a comprehensive team of coaches, fitness and sports medical experts - including psychologist Steve Peters - and he believes their input could also prove hugely influential.
He added: "I think the most important aspect of the question is: what are we as a coaching staff going to do?
"Of course we come into the tournament extremely fresh. We come to the tournament extremely motivated with lots of ideas and lots of things we're going to work on. We've got to make sure our perspective from the whole thing is right.
"At this particular moment in time, I think we're in a good position to take part in the competition and to give a good account of ourselves, and that's all you can hope for.
"You can talk down your chances. You can play mind games. You can talk up your chances. Whatever you say, it will be seized upon by people and written.
"But, in reality, there's only one thing that counts: we've got three games, definitely. We'd like to have a lot more. We'd like to get up to about seven if we could, but we know we've got the three.
"We know that all the talking in the world, if we talk well or we talk badly, doesn't really matter because when we cross that white line in Manaus and the referee blows his whistle, in that 95 or 96 minutes when we'll actually be playing, that's when it will all count."
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