Hodgson has already seen his side drop precious points against Poland and Ukraine, leaving England two points adrift of group leaders Montenegro after only four games.
Hodgson now talks of being satisfied with what could prove a far more perilous route to the World Cup in Brazil. He adds that his side need some ‘luck’ to ‘get over the line’.
In Brazil this week to assess potential training venues for the tournament, Hodgson told the BBC: "If we don’t succeed in being No 1, I’d be more than happy to go into the play-offs.
"The important thing is we get one of those two positions. The group we are in was quite underestimated, but that is often the case."