Roy Hodgson's patience might have been sorely tried by the speed and apparent vindictiveness with which monkeys in space managed to boomerang intrusively into his moment of euphoria on World Cup qualification but the phlegmatic England manager has developed a philosophy to cope with whatever the coming year throws at him, dressing room leaks included.

"All the things you can't change, you just have to deal with," the experienced 66-year-old says. Hodgson has not been to a World Cup with England before, but he was in charge during the European Championship last summer and took Switzerland to USA 94, so he knows the drill. Key members of the squad are likely to become injured at inopportune moments, the rigours of the English league mean most of his players will arrive in Brazil ready for a rest. Boredom will be a problem because five weeks is a long time away from home and even when all those challenges have been met someone is bound to point out that the World Cup is no longer the pinnacle it once was now we have the Champions League to entertain us. Oh, and England expects the team to do well, otherwise the manager will be in trouble.

"I try not to dwell on the negatives," Hodgson says. "When you take on the job people point out that it is impossible to succeed and it can only end in tears, and maybe that's right. But I never saw it that way. I saw it as an opportunity to work with some fantastic players.

"I'll go to Brazil hoping we can do something there. We will all be slaughtered if we don't but that's the way it is. I'm not certain anyway that what gets written is always swallowed wholeheartedly by the people who go to the games, I think the public are more realistic. I'd like to believe they have been satisfied so far and even got a degree of excitement from the way we are trying to play. This could be an interesting tournament."

So it could, on the pitch. The problem for managers of national teams is that games and training take up a relatively small part of a tournament that lasts a month and, even in the moment of fulfilling a lifelong ambition, players soon start yearning for home. Wayne Rooney has admitted he finds it hard being away for so long and Hodgson is sure he is not alone. "There are lots of others who feel the same, it is just that Wayne has been honest enough to speak about it," he says.

"It's a recurring theme, any manager from any country in a tournament will tell you the same story. How are we going to occupy the players for five weeks? How are we going to get through these long days? There is no answer. You can't replicate the routine that players have with their clubs and that is all there is to it.

"We will never get to a situation where players say: 'It's no problem being away for five weeks, I love every minute of it,' because, frankly, you don't. You want to go to a World Cup, you want to be telling your grandkids about it, but at the same time it is a sacrifice. You will most likely glorify it to the grandkids, tell them it was fantastic. But at the time you probably moaned a bit."

Sympathy will be limited, one fears, for well-paid young footballers forced to endure a month in Brazil, though at least Hodgson's honesty can be admired and he appears more in tune with his players than Fabio Capello, whose regime at the last World Cup was unkindly compared to a prison camp. The present manager knows what to expect of English players, good and bad.

"The tempo and intensity of the English league is what makes it popular around the world but it wears people out," he says. "I am pretty sure the players are livelier and fresher now than they will be at the end of the season, whenever that is, because something else we can't control is the possibility of English teams reaching the Champions League final. I like the Champions League but I don't agree that it knocks the World Cup into a cocked hat. Not when you consider the agony teams go through just to qualify. For me, the World Cup is still the greatest show on earth and it is certainly watched by the most people."

One thing that encourages Hodgson is the development of the young players in the squad, few of whom are now struggling to get games for their clubs. "That was a problem in the past but it seems to have changed," he says.

"Andros Townsend is keeping some very expensive signings out at Tottenham, Kyle Walker has nailed down the right-back spot and Danny Welbeck is getting games for United ahead of Nani and Antonio Valencia. If Daniel Sturridge couldn't get into the Liverpool team for three or four months it would bother me but to be honest I don't see it happening. We have some top youngsters and they are going to get games."

That is not just a happy position to be in, it is one that Hodgson can take some credit for helping to come about. When he first picked Townsend, André Villas-Boas said he was not ready for international football. Two games later and Harry Redknapp was saying he put him in mind of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry.

"Suddenly Andros is a world hero," Hodgson says. "I'm not saying he doesn't deserve it, his maturity in the two games was quite frightening, but people need to accept that he is still a young man learning his trade. Let's give the lad a break."