The draw in Montenegro has made the nightmare of being thrown into the play-offs a harsh reality.
And the prospect of facing the likes of Portugal, France or Croatia in a two-legged tie makes the thought of the Three Lions boarding a plane to Brazil 2014 seem a long way off.
Boss Hodgson said: “If, as a result of our performances, we are second in our group then we will worry about the team we have to face in the play-offs.
We’re a couple of points down on what we’d have liked and nobody wants to be in the play-offs
“But the fact is that, in the World Cup qualifiers, only one team goes straight through.
“In the play-offs it’s going to be a good team because, in every group, there are at least two good teams.
“In fact, I would suggest there are more than two good teams in some of the groups.
“I will worry about the play-offs when the play-offs come around."