Donetsk (Ukraine): England manager Roy Hodgson brushed off fears sweltering heat may adversely affect his team in their Euro 2012 opener with France after touching down in Ukraine on Sunday.

After basing themselves in the relatively cool southern Polish city of Krakow, England arrived in Donetsk after a two-hour flight to be greeted by baking temperatures of up to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

Temperatures are forecast to nudge towards 32 degrees Celsius for Monday's early evening kick-off against France, but Hodgson downplayed concerns his team might struggle to cope with the conditions.

"It does get hot in England from time to time and the heat is a factor for all the teams that will play in the Ukraine and in the earlier game it plays a slightly bigger role," Hodgson told a press conference.

"But the bottom line when you play under any conditions is that it is the same for both teams and it's very important that we don't put too much emphasis on them. Our emphasis has purely got to be on how we play.

England captain Steven Gerrard also played down concerns over the weather.

"Yeah, it's hot but it's hot for both teams. We won't use the heat and the conditions as an excuse," Gerrard said.

"To echo what the manager said, the journey was a two-hour flight, which is exactly what we do for European games at home.

"Lots of the players have European experience."

Unlike England, however, France have chosen to base themselves near Donetsk for the tournament and so have had several more days to acclimatise.

If England do suffer, it is bound to reopen questions about the wisdom of England's decision to base themselves in Poland when all their first round matches are in Ukraine.

The Krakow training camp was selected prior to the draw for the tournament when the location of the group games was revealed.

However while Hodgson was not involved in the choice of training camp he told reporters he had no regrets about the decision to stay in Poland.

"To be honest with you it's not something I've given great attention to. The trip has been very well planned," Hodgson said.

"I can't believe the quality of our preparations. Everything has been absolutely spot on. It's been no hardship to take a short plane journey over here. I'm perfectly happy with the arrangements."


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