Roy Hodgson says England are hopeful of riding the wave of optimism currently sweeping the country to victory over Italy in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 on Sunday.

England went in to the tournament as underdogs to top Group D, but two wins and a draw under Hodgson helped them finish ahead of France to set up a quarter final date against Italy in Kiev.

While the Three Lions continue to surpass expectations, supporters are growing increasingly optimistic that they can make it to the semi-finals, where they would face reigning champions Spain.

Some still suggest England are underdogs against the Azzurri, a notion that Hodgson dismisses, and the former West Brom boss believes his side can continue to make an impact at Euro 2012.

"We're not underdogs in any way," he said.

"We have good-quality players who are recognised worldwide and, certainly, would get into a lot of the top European teams.

"We're not underdogs in any way. We have good-quality players who are recognised worldwide and, certainly, would get into a lot of the top European teams."

Hodgson also admitted he was happy with how events have unfolded at Euro 2012 thus far, especially after England lost key players in the build-up to the tournament and the fact he only took over as England manager a month before it began.

"Spain have had a few scares along the way and Italy have been stable in their performances without actually tearing the tournament up.

"It's been a fairly smooth process for us.

"Things were up in the air because our preparation time was so short and we lost four senior players to injury in the build-up.

"But we've managed to put that to one side and now it's more a positive feeling."

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