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The Ox gives England a timely boost

TWO LIONS: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) with England boss Roy Hodgson

DESPITE A disappointing draw with Honduras, Roy Hodgson and England received the news he and all England fans will have been relieved to hear. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit for the 2014 World Cup.

Oxlade-Chamberlain looked to be struggling with a knee injury suffered in the 2-2 friendly against Ecuador, resulting in his having his right knee placed in a brace. The 20 year old described his feeling " gutted," at the initial set back but made a declaration of " staying positive," on the road to recovery.

The Arsenal man did not feature in the 0-0 draw against Honduras, but having come through a severe test of temperament and temperature induced thunderstorms, Hodgson and England got the boost they had sought.

“Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is making good progress – I think he’ll make the tournament without a shadow of a doubt. We’re really looking forward to the tournament and have fortunately not suffered more than the one injury to Alex," said Hodgson.

England had enough about them to see off Honduras, but saw Daniel Sturridge fail to capitalise with three gilt edged chances. The Liverpool man did well to keep his cool in the Miami heat when Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre blasted the ball into a prone Sturridge's midriff to earn the Honduran a yellow card, when a red would have served the better judgement.

The Central American side were reduced to ten men after having defender Brayan Beckeles sent off for an elbow on Leighton Baines, but in the end, England didn't pick up any further injuries, despite the worst efforts of the Hondurans.

"They were quite physical. It was a real stop-start game - one of the most frustrating games I’ve been involved with in a long time.

“We had a very long stop but I thought we dealt with that well. In the second half it was just a giant attack versus defence…they got their players behind the ball and we unfortunately didn’t take our chances.

“We certainly attempted to make the chances and I thought the tempo of our play and our effort to score a goal in the second half was commendable but it was a very frustrating game and one that I will soon forget, ”continued Hodgson.

Next Saturday's opening game against Italy in Manaus and England will finally get their FIFA 2014 World Cup campaign off the mark.

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