England can win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil next summer, according to the former Football Association chairman David Bernstein.
The 70-year-old's successor Greg Dyke recently stated that nobody "realistically thinks" that England will lift the World Cup trophy for the first time since 1966 next July - but Bernstein is more optimistic.
“Who says we can’t win?" the business executive, who was forced to step down from his role as FA chairman in June, told the London Evening Standard. "Greece won the European Championship in 2004 — that was considered impossible. Denmark won the Euros in 1992. If they could come off the beach and win, then we could win.”
Before England can start dreaming, though, they must first qualify for the finals.
Roy Hodgson's men take on Ukraine in a crunch qualifier in Kiev this evening - but Bernstein believes a draw would be a "very satisfactory result".
“We have a good chance of qualifying,” Bernstein added. “I have sympathy for Hodgson having lost a whole string of players, a lot of them in the same positions. To lose Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge is a blow. We are still a strong team. And on the basis that a draw with Ukraine would be a very satisfactory result we have a very reasonable chance.”
England currently lead Group H by virtue of goal difference - ahead of Montenegro - after picking up four wins and three draws from their first seven qualifiers.
But Ukraine need no reminding that victory over Hodgson's depleted side this evening will seriously dent England's chances of reaching the 2014 World Cup finals - while significantly boosting their own qualification hopes.
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