Roy Hodgson has inferred that he views this summer's European Championship as a stepping stone to a World Cup assault with England in 2014.
Hodgson was named England manager in May, months after the departure of Fabio Capello, and this left him just six weeks to prepare the squad for Euro 2012. His tenure began with a 1-0 triumph over Norway and he has a game against Belgium before the tournament gets underway.
With Wayne Rooney suspended for the opening two games, England look light and they have been widely dismissed by the bookmakers. Hodgson is not writing off the chances of his side in Poland and Ukraine but views his appointment as a long-term move.
"I am looking beyond the Euros," Hodgson said. "The fact is, I have my sights fixed firmly on the future.
"I signed a contract to do this job over the coming years. I also want to do well in the Euros. But I'm not prepared to make the Euros the be all and end all in terms of the way I want to play."
Rooney is absent for the first two games, but he is still a key player for Hodgson. "The way forward is going to be with two strikers. We all know Rooney is best in that No. 10 position."