Whelan: Three Lions’ biggest issue is heat

England's training session at the Urca Military Training Ground, Rio de Janeiro
England's training session at the Urca Military Training Ground, Rio de Janeiro
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LATICS chairman Dave Whelan believes that if England can overcome the Brazilian climate, they can succeed at the World Cup.

The Three Lions face Uruguay tomorrow in a crunch match with a defeat as good as ending their hopes of qualification from Group D.

The Wigan supremo has always been a huge supporter of the national side but is reminding fans to be cautious in their expectations due to the conditions in Brazil.

“The heat is the problem,” he said. “I think this England team is quite a good team and if they can overcome the heat they will do all right.

“The heat is the big problem, though. Everyone in England knows what it’s like on a hot summer’s day, we soon get exhausted when we’re gardening, walking or running.

“When you say it’s 10 degrees warmer over there and humid, I’ve tried to play in it and it’s really difficult.

“When you go to places like Spain to play, it’s hot. It’s seriously difficult. When people go abroad on holiday and the sun is shining, you’ve then got to think, ‘How would they like to play football in this heat?’ And the answer is they wouldn’t.”

England could be boosted by the return of winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tomorrow night.

The Wigan chairman is more than satisfied that the talent already shown by the England squad is enough to see them through though.

He has also backed Roy Hodgson, who he believes has helped generate a “good feeling” and confidence in the England camp.

“It’s going to be really difficult for our boys but I think they will do all right,” added Whelan.

“They are a good side, I don’t think there is any doubt about that. They play good football, they give 110 per cent but like I said before, the heat may overcome them in the end.

“I’ve played in it and I know how tough it is to play in it, it’s awful.

“One result will make a massive difference if we can get a good result.

“I think they can qualify and it would be a massive plus for our lads but let’s just wish them good luck.

“I think Roy Hodgson has done a good job, he’s got a good feeling in the camp. You can see and feel that when the lads are about, there’s a hell of a good feeling in that camp and the confidence is building.”