Hodgson's team entertain Montenegro at Wembley knowing victory could virtually seal a berth in next summer's World Cup finals if Poland were to beat Ukraine.
There are other scenarios, some of them not very palatable at all.
Yet despite a record of three successive draws against Montenegro, and the knowledge his team have not beaten any of their major Group H rivals so far, the 66-year-old is convinced England are on the brink of something special.
Roy Hodgson: "I trust the players and I believe in them.
"I know how determined they are to do the job.
"People do doubt sometimes. They can quote the statistics. We haven't had a marquee result. The one we had was the friendly against Brazil at home, or the draw away, but you can't have a marquee result in a friendly.
"But we are a long way forward compared to how I felt 18 months ago.
"This is a perfect opportunity to prove that and improve the mood.
"The nation wants us to be in Brazil. They expect us to get them to Brazil.
"It cannot come quickly enough and we'll be ready for it.
"Taking on the role as manager of an England team is a big responsibility.
"We are one of the big nations. We are expected to qualify for World Cups and European Championships.
"If that doesn't happen, you'll get criticism. If you're wise, you realise there'll be criticism during qualifying as well.
"How does anyone stay sane? The training sessions lift me.
"It is two great games and it can be four very good days. That is what I am anticipating.
"It's one of the hardest selection weeks.
"There are so many senior players available who haven't always been there and the younger ones aren't just here to learn the ropes.
"I've had to give it a lot of thought, but it's clear in my head.
"I fear I will (break hearts). There is no easy way.
"People are as enthusiastic as you want them to be, but when you tell them they're not in it's hard.
"I take the more experienced players to one side, if I can.
"You can't do it with the newer members of the squad, who might not have the same aspirations to play, but if you're counting on playing; they are the ones I take aside.
"I would be saddened to think my time as national coach has been riddled with excuses.
"We've taken responsibility all along. We're not looking for excuses.
"We're ready for it. We believe in ourselves, trust in each other, have the right determination and motivation.
"What more can I say to describe where we are?"
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NEWCASTLE UNITED 2013/14
CARDIFF CITY 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Remy 2)
Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Tiote, Cabaye (86' Ben Arfa), Gouffran, Sissoko, Remy (71' Gutierrez), Cisse
Subs: Anita, Yanga-Mbiwa, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett
EVERTON 3 NEWCASTLE 2 (Cabaye, Remy)
Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa (46' Williamson), Coloccini, Santon, Tiote, Anita (69' Cisse), Ben Arfa (46' Cabaye), Sissoko, Gouffran, Remy
Subs: Elliot, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett
NEWCASTLE 2 HULL CITY 3 (Remy 2)
Krul, Debuchy (86' Tiote), Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Cabaye (62' Gouffran), Anita, Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Cisse (73' Marveaux), Remy
Subs: Williamson, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett
ASTON VILLA 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Ben Arfra, Gouffran)
Krul, Debuchy, Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Anita (74' Tiote), Cabaye (88' Sammy Ameobi), Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Remy (63' Gouffran), Cisse
Subs: Elliot, Marveaux, S Taylor, Dummett
NEWCASTLE 1 FULHAM 0 (Ben Arfa)
Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita 65' (Cabaye), Marveaux 74' (Remy), Shola Ameobi 65' (Gouffran), Cisse
Subs: Gosling, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett
NEWCASTLE 0 WEST HAM 0
Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita, Marveaux 66' (Sammy Ameobi), Shola Ameobi, Cisse 72'
Subs: Gosling, Bigirimana, Elliot, Vuckic, Dummett
MAN CITY 4 NEWCASTLE 0
Krul, Debuchy, Coloccini, S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Sissoko, Tiote, Gouffran 45+4' (Dummett), Ben Arfa 65' (Sammy Ameobi), Gutierrez 44' (Anita), Cisse
Subs: Elliot, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Obertan
NEWCASTLE 2 LEEDS UTD 0 (Cisse, Gouffran)
Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett, Gouffran (90' Vuckic), Anita (80' Gosling), Tiote, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Cisse (71' Obertan).
Subs: Ben Arfa, Yanga-Mbiwa, Bigirimana, Alnwick
MORECAMBE 0 NEWCASTLE 2 (Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi)
Elliot, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Good, Dummett, Bigirimana, Gosling, Marveaux 88' (Sissoko), Vuckic 46' (Shola Ameobi), Sammy Ameobi, Gouffran 71' (Ben Arfa)
Subs: Santon, Anita, Alnwick, Streete
Newcastle United Fixtures
Saturday October 19
12:45 Premier League
Newcastle United v Liverpool
Sunday October 27
13:30 Premier League
Sunderland v Newcastle United
Wednesday October 30
19:45 League Cup - 4th Rnd
Newcastle United v Manchester City
Saturday November 2
12:45 Premier League
Newcastle United v Chelsea
Sunday November 10
12:00 Premier League
Tottenham v Newcastle United