England begin their World Cup campaign tomorrow against Italy, and Gary Cahill is adamant the humid conditions in Manaus, where the game takes place, won’t be a problem for Roy Hodgson’s side.
The forecast indicates temperatures could exceed 30 degrees during the game but, having warmed up for the competition with a training camp in Portugal, followed by friendly matches in Miami, the Chelsea defender believes the Three Lions are in good shape going into their opener.
‘It’s hard for English players,’ said Cahill. ‘We’re not used to this climate, but we’ve done the heat chambers, we’ve done the extra layers of clothing, so we’ve done all we possibly can going into the game.
‘After the Honduras match (in Miami), I felt good. I felt good in the game. It was pleasing to know mentally that you can deal with those conditions and that’s roughly what we’re going to be facing in the first game.
‘I’ve been told by a couple of team-mates what it’s like, I’m intrigued by it. They said it will be very humid but we knew that before we’d gone so that’s why we’ve done all the training.’
The game will be Cahill’s first at a major international tournament after he was forced to miss the European Championships in 2012 with a broken jaw.
His partnership with Everton’s Phil Jagielka during qualifying was impressive but while, in the eyes of the manager, the duo are regarded as the first-choice pairing, the 28 year old isn’t taking the competition for places within the squad lightly.
‘I feel accepted at this level now, which is pleasing,’ he said. ‘That’s not to say, there’s any sort of complacency in my game whatsoever. There’s still people coming up behind and youngsters who are top players.
‘I just feel accepted and that’s pleasing for me for what I’ve done in the last couple of years.’