Hurst backs England to reach World Cup semis, but not win the trophy

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London, May 18 (ANI): Football legend Sir Geoff Hurst has backed England to reach the semi-final of the 2010 World Cup, but is not convinced that the Three Lions are strong enough to lift the trophy.

Hurst is confident coach Fabio Capello will guide the team to the semi-finals for the first time since Bobby Robson did it at Italia 90, but is not sure that the team would be able to emulate the success Sir Alf Ramsey's men enjoyed in 1966.

Hurst, who scored a hat-trick as England beat Germany 4-2 in the final 44 years ago, said: "You've got to be very careful with being negative about football, but I just think we're a bit short at the moment."

"The goalkeeping area's a problem. I've spoken to Gordon Banks and Peter Shilton, two of the best keepers we've ever had, and they have concerns. Up front, Emile Heskey seems to be the No1 choice to partner Wayne Rooney. However, he hasn't played much this year, so there are concerns in some key areas," The Sun quoted Hurst, as saying.

"Having said all that, I think the squad and the management will expect to at least get to the semi-finals. The draw is very favourable and we're quite capable of beating most teams. When you get to the semis, who knows what will happen as that's when you come up against the Brazils and Spains.

"It's all about getting the squad right and keeping your best players on the field. That's in the lap of the gods through injuries and suspensions, but I think we're going to the World Cup better prepared than we've been for some time," Hurst said.

Capello's initial 30-man squad for South Africa includes a number of players who have struggled with injuries this season. (ANI)

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