Aviva Stadium

Next Game

Rep Ire v England

Sunday, 07 June 2015, 13:00

International Match

Last Game

Italy 1 - 1 England

Tuesday, 31 March 2015, 19:45

International Match

Roy unruffled by 'mind games'

England boss Roy Hodgson says his Montenegro counterpart Branko Brnovic is playing 'mind games' ahead of their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: 25/03/13 at 18:09 Post Comment

Roy Hodgson: In confident mood ahead of Tuesday's big match

Roy Hodgson: In confident mood ahead of Tuesday's big match

Montenegro are currently top of Group H and a victory over Hodgson's men in Podgorica would take them five points clear.

For that reason, Brnovic says the game is more important to England, whereas defeat for his side would not be too critical.

But Hodgson said: "I should think it's definitely mind games, I don't think there's too much doubt about that.

"I'm surprised he thinks defeat won't hurt Montenegro. Most coaches feel that defeats hurt them, at all levels of football.

"If he's suggesting that we should accept the burden of being favourites to win the game, then we'll accept it. It's not a problem for us.

"We're confident, we think we've got good players. We'll accept that responsibility.

"Quite frankly, whether you accept the responsibility or not, it's what happens during the 95 minutes tomorrow night that will decide everything anyway."

November friendlies

Brnovic also pointed out that England had arranged friendly matches for November and that they may have to cancel them if they fail to overhaul Montenegro and are forced to try and qualify for the World Cup via the play-offs.

"I haven't really thought about that," said Hodgson. "I'm not surprised the FA have pencilled in matches, probably most teams will have pencilled in matches for November.

"But it's not something we've discussed and I'm not even sure I know who those matches will be against, if and when.

"Our focus is fully and firmly on the end of October, when we play Poland at home, and we're hoping by that time we'll have qualified. If we haven't, hopefully we'll have a chance in November to put things right."

The England manager and his captain Steven Gerrard examined the pitch on Monday, following recent rainfall, but the mischievous Brnovic said he does not know why they are concerned because "the English have always favoured long passes".

Hodgson responded: "People have what opinions they want to have. It really doesn't bother me what people say and I'm certainly not going to get involved in any discussion about how we play, vis-a-vis how other people think we play.

"We work hard at our game, we're happy that the game we play gives us a chance to win matches. How other people want to describe it is entirely up to them."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

B

enteke is an absolute steal for £32.5m, he would get into any team in the world (except Barcelona) at the moment. I've seen many very good strikers in my 30+ years as a Villa fan. This guy is the best without question.

sparkigol
Benteke's £32.5m release clause

A

ll he wants are sharks with frickin lazers on their heads. Is that too much to ask?

mufc phil
Bomb threat on FIFA D-day

W

hy is the dinosaur trying to hold on to this.... Just leave... No one wants you in this position you corrupt loser. Let someone else take over....

arsenal121
Defiant Sepp blames minority

Footer 365

David Gill confirms he will not take up FIFA executive committee post

Football Association vice-chairman David Gill has confirmed he will not take up his post on FIFA’s executive committee.

Sepp Blatter claims he knows how to fix FIFA after re-election

Sepp Blatter says he knows how to fix FIFA’s broken reputation after a traumatic week for football’s governing body.

Sepp Blatter will not last two years, says FA chairman Greg Dyke

FA chairman Greg Dyke is not surprised Sepp Blatter won a fifth term as FIFA president but he does not expect him to even last two years.

Mail Box

Players Must Stand Up For Qatar Boycott

Players, not bureaucrats, hold the key to boycotting Qatar. Also in the afternoon mailbox: Wenger is right to rotate, Zlatan can dribble, and it's Barca v Ajax in the budget final...

What Would You Do If You Were Blatter?

Step into Sepp's shoes, is the invitation from one mailboxer. Also: United already have their new number one, Rodgers deserves time, and the best Budget XI so far...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company