Former England under-21s manager Stuart Peace says that England are capable of qualifying from tough World Cup draw
LONDON COLNEY NEAR LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (ITN) - Former England under-21s manager Stuart Pearce believes his country have a good chance of progressing to the World Cup quarter-finals, despite being handed a tough draw in Brazilon Friday (November 6).
Pearce, who also went to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as part of then manager Fabio Capello's backroom staff, thinks that the lack of expectation surronding England's chances in a tough group could actually benefit the side.
"It's gonna be a tough one - the venues and where they are and the climate will play a big part in that but, the positive of that, is it manages expectation, I think, which is a real good thing. Normally we get over-inflated and people send us into World Cups, European Championships, suggesting we are going to win it, and that it is going to be comfortable," he said.
"I went, three and a half years ago, with Fabio to the World Cup in South Africa and because of the nature of the group we were in, expectations went through the roof, and the games were really difficult. I think the one good thing is, it manages expectations for one, it all does for the players as well - they know exactly what they are going into. In the first game against Italy, they will be very focused."
Pearce doesn't believe that Costa Rica, who are currently ranked at 31st in the FIFA World Rankings, are good enough to get out of the group, and, because of this, England have a great chance of progressing further into the competition.
"I expect them to get to the quarter-finals personally. I mean, its a tough group, but when you look at it like this, I don't think Costa Rica will be strong enough to get outta that group so that says you've got two out of three chances, you've got 66% chance of getting out of that group," he said.
"I think we'll get out the group - I think quarter-finals, possibly semis, if we get fortunate, but quarter-finals is probably the area that I suggest and, historically, where we have got to before we've run outta gas or been beaten by a better team."
England manager Roy Hodgson had been fearful of playing in the intense humidity of Manaus, but Pearce believes the previous experience of several of the younger England players, whilst playing under him at the under-20s World Cup in Colombia in 2011, will hold them in good stead ahead of this year's competition.
"I think I was fortunate enough three years ago to go to Colombia with the under-20s, to the World Cup there, and we played at altitude and obviously in humidity and God knows what else - a great grounding really and one or two of the younger players should have been there, maybe the Chamberlains of this world, the Phil Jones', would have been great experiences for them, if they are going to the World Cup this time round," he insisted.
"But, I know how difficult it is, you know? We played, I think it was Mexico, and the humidity was absolutely stifling and we will be up against that again so it will be tough and we have to manage the way we play."