Confident Hodgson happy to brush off criticism
England's warm embrace for the Krakow community has deservedly won friends and admirers - but among opponents they are winning a reputation as the unloved country of Euro 2012.
Roy Hodgson and his players flew from their Poland base into the sprawling bustle of Kiev in Ukraine to more verbal blows and even a touch of mockery from Friday's opponents Sweden as they prepare for their second Group D game.
England's crime appears to be a point-blank refusal to make life easy for France in their opening 1-1 draw in Donetsk, a result and resilient performance that unsettled the purists but served Hodgson's purposes with an important point.
Matters of style were once more on the agenda as Hodgson and captain Steven Gerrard faced the world's media in the shadow of Kiev's impressive Olympic Stadium. And the supreme indifference they showed to the inquisition suggests they adhere to the old adage stating that there is only one thing worse than being talked about - and that is not being talked about.
England team take part in a training session at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev ahead of their match against Sweden. Photo: Getty
If England have been too eager to please the opposition in recent major tournaments like the World Cup in 2010, then their poor approval rating here may well be a good sign.
Former Sweden captain Jonas Thern threw a barb in England and Hodgson's direction when he said: "The one shot towards the France goal over 90 minutes was all it took to ignite the chronic English illusion of world football supremacy. Their style of play is predictable."
The gentleman in Hodgson will probably thank Thern for his interest then ignore a Swedish mock - with heavy emphasis on mock - front page of an English national newspaper reflecting on an imaginary Swedish victory under the headline "Broken Hart".
There was more but the humour was of an acquired taste. Hardly subtle, hardly humorous and hardly likely to have the slightest impact on Hodgson and England.
France coach Laurent Blanc, who made a veiled reference to England's approach after the Donetsk draw, could not resist another shot when looking ahead to their meeting with co-hosts Ukraine.
He said: "Regardless of who starts they just need to relax because we can't repeat the first 30 minutes against England. If we had played against a really good side it would have been over."
If the sideswipes were intended to divert Hodgson and England away from their chosen course, a course taken out of the necessity of missing their outstanding player Wayne Rooney through suspension, seeing midfield options reduced by injuries to Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry and the manager having reduced preparation time, then they met a brick wall.
Hodgson said: "It is only three days since we played. I don't expect miraculous changes overnight and in three days we are not going to change enormously. Frankly I rather hope we are not going to change at all. I thought, going into a game against a very good French side, we handled things well."
The 64-year-old is aware England must produce more of an attacking threat against the Swedes in a game where victory is essential, while there is inevitably a sense that these early games are something of a holding operation until Rooney returns against co-hosts Ukraine.
He added: "We have the quality of people who will score and we have a world-class player of our own to bring back into the team soon in Rooney. He is very anxious to get back into the team."
The words of Thern and a Swedish front page poking fun - and poking hard - hardly represent a show of respect but Hodgson, who also heard England's status as a world power questioned by the French media last week, delivered a measured response.
England have entered into the spirit of this sparkling Euro 2012 off the field with a successful charm offensive in Poland and are convinced they are being taken seriously amid the less than kind messages.
Hodgson said: "I would be surprised if teams were not taking England seriously. I think it is more of a question that in past tournaments we haven't been able to live up to very high expectations. I would say the reputation of football in England, not least of all the quality of the Premier League and the famous names in there, means that we are never going to be taken lightly or not seriously.
"To some extent we run the risk of a country like Sweden, that spends a lot of its time watching the Premier League, getting an extra motivation to beat an England team because they like to show these highly-paid superstars they are no better than their own players."
The Football Association's plan to make England good tourists off the field has been an unqualified success. If it does not extend on the field then Hodgson and his players will consider their job well done. They will hope the joke is on Sweden on Friday.