Master tactician Roy Hodgson, the new England manager, today confidentially predicted that England can go all the way and win Euro 2012 - and he even predicted the scores in the group and knockout stages.
Hodgson spoke to us exclusively last night, following back to back 1-0 wins over Norway and Belgium in Englands two warm up matches for the tournament.
"So far everything is going to plan" said the former Switzerland boss. "I'm very pleased with the players. I've asked them questions and they've given me answers. Now of course is the next step but I believe we are ready for it."
When asked about the group opponents he continued. "Well our first test is against France - known for their Gallic flair - but they are going through a transitional period and I think we have enough in our armour to beat them but it will be close - probably 1-0. After that we will play Sweden, another team who like to play football, but I believe we can stifle them and steal a 'one nothing' victory, which leaves us with a final group match against joint hosts Ukraine, who will be eager to impress the home fans, but the return of Wayne Rooney from suspension should help us to snatch a win, by the margin of one to zero."
Moving on to the knock-out stages, Hodgson began to show a sign of emotion as his left eyebrow flickered. "I think the disruption to the Italy squad will result in us facing Croatia in the quarter-final and we can gain revenge for Wembley 2008, but of course it will be a tight game, and I think we can edge it, probably by scoring once and keeping a clean sheet.
Hodgson managed to keep his reserve despite the obvious excitement that his words were going to produce around the country. "The semi-final will probably pit us against Germany, which it goes without saying is always a big match for both countries, so I won't say it. Again, we will be look to avenge the 2010 World cup match when the team were denied by controversial refereeing decisions, this can spur our players onto win the game - I suggest we will nick it with the only goal of the game."
Hodgson stopped to take breath as he contemplated what he was saying - that England would reach the final of a major tournament for the first time since 1966 - and the first time on foreign soil.
"The final will be our biggest test - I am positive our opponents will be Spain - the World Cup winners and defending European Champions - which means that all the pressure will be on them and our role as underdogs will work in our favour. I think England will triumph by the narrowest of margins, we can't expect a classic free-flowing display with so much at stake, probably 'one nil' in our favour."
Within minutes of the interview being broadcast, fans took to twitter to express their opinions. 'Was Hodgson was manager of Arsenal in a previous life?' asked @HarryRedface. 'One nil to the Inger-land!' cheered @InchcockG. 'I predict a triumph' tweeted @KaiserChef. 'Mamma-mia he is mental' remarked @Don_Fabio. 'Wake me up before the goal yo' was the wry comment from greek pop star @GeorgePopadopilus