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banner Monday, 3 December, 2001, 12:22 GMT
Hurst backs England
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Sir Geoff Hurst is confident that England will make it through to the second round of the World Cup in Korea and Japan.

The hat-trick hero of 1966 was speaking on BBC Radio Five Live and says he would be "disappointed" if Sven-Goran Eriksson's did not progress further than their group.

And he does not believe that England were unlucky to draw Argentina, Sweden and Nigeria in their group.

"It's a tough group and a tough draw," said Sir Geoff.


We've got some good players, but maybe not enough great players
Sir Geoff Hurst

"But we're in with the big boys now. If you are going to do well, you have to start playing these sides and beating them.

"I would be surprised and disappointed if we did not qualify for the next round."

Sir Geoff also hinted that while the general standard of the England team had improved over the years, he was not sure the side had enough match-winners.

"We've got some good players, but maybe not enough great players."

He also highlighted the key players, or the spine, which he believes is key to England's success.


It's about doing it at the time and in that month (the finals)
Sir Geoff Hurst

"Rio Ferdinand who can continue to improve, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard in midfield and young Michael Owen up front."

Hurst also hinted that a couple of players from the squad may break through between now and the finals.

"We've got other players like Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer.

"It's about doing it at the time and in that month (the finals)."

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1966 hero Sir Geoff Hurst
"I'd be surprised if they don't get to the second round at least"
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