Hodgson downplays Manaus heat

England coach Roy Hodgson has moved to downplay the impact the Manaus heat will have on his side against Italy on Saturday.

England open their FIFA World Cup campaign against the Italians deep in the world's largest tropical rain forest.

Steamy and humid conditions are expected and how both sides fare in the Group D clash could be crucial in their hopes of reaching the last 16.

"I don't think at this World Cup you will see a big difference in the way teams play due to conservation of energy," Hodgson said on Tuesday.

"I'm not really expecting enormous changes.

"What we have to do is play our football and with the 14 players at our disposition, play the football we want to play."

Hodgson also rejected suggestions from England midfielder Jack Wilshere that his side could play a different brand of football due to the heat.

"It's always unfair to ask young players those questions (about different styles of play) because I'm sure he doesn't understand what answer he should be giving," he said.

"We are expecting our players to run around a lot and if I select Jack, I'll expect him to run around a lot.

"A lot has been spoken about Manaus and conservation of energy and heat. I think we just need to wait and see what Manaus brings.

"We'll concern ourselves then about how much conservation of energy will be necessary."

Also on the issue of Manaus, Hodgson angrily rejected suggestions that England had complained about having to play there.

"It's not true that we complained about Manaus or Brazil. Quite the opposite really," he added.

"I think that nonsense should be put to bed right away. We would have been happy to play in any city we were drawn in.

"We are very much looking forward to play in the World Cup."

Hodgson also insisted his side would not focus all on their energies on curbing the influence of Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo when the two sides meet.

Pirlo was impressive as Italy knocked England out of the UEFA Euro 2012 quarter-finals but Hodgson said: "Andrea is obviously a top-class player. In the game we had … he had a superb game.

"We are very much focusing on Italy as a team (though). We are not getting hung up on one player."