Roy Hodgson admits to nerves over England`s doomsday scenario

Last Updated: Friday, October 4, 2013 - 17:43

London: England manager Roy Hodgson will wait with bated breath hoping his squad emerge unscathed from Premier League assignments this weekend as he bids to avoid a "doomsday" scenario.

Hodgson`s England complete their 2014 World Cup qualifiers with home games against Montenegro and Poland on October 11 and October 15 knowing two wins will clinch their place in Brazil.

Any slip-ups though would leave England staring at a playoff or, unthinkably, elimination.

"My life at the moment is on these two games," Hodgson, whose side lead a tight Group H by a point from Ukraine and Montenegro, said after naming his squad.

"As for the doomsday scenarios put before me, I won`t have to confront them because I believe and am confident the team will do it."

Hodgson will be paying particular interest to Manchester United`s trip to Sunderland, where striker Wayne Rooney could return after missing the Champions League game in Donetsk on Wednesday, and Liverpool`s home game with Crystal Palace in which Daniel Sturridge will lead the line.

Rooney and Sturridge missed England`s last two qualifiers but are expected to spearhead the attack against Montenegro.

Hodgson has relied on the tried and tested since taking charge and is unlikely to veer away from that policy with so much at stake so positive fitness bulletins from Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole will also be welcome.

Failure to qualify automatically for Brazil would be a huge blow for Hodgson who was expected to lead England through a far from scary qualifying group.

However, their only wins have come against Moldova and San Marino with their remaining matches ending in draws, meaning there is still plenty of work to do.

"I am, of course, always nervous -- any football coach worthy of the name, who really believes in his work, is nervous when the whistle goes," Hodgson said.

"He wants all the things he wants to see come about, he is nervous the referee might make a terrible decision that might affect the team, so you can`t be involved and not be nervous.

"You might try and control it, but anyone who says they are not nervous suggests a laissez faire attitude, and I will not be accused of that."

Should England beat Montenegro, who held them to a Wembley draw in the Euro 2012 qualifiers, and fourth-placed Poland hold Ukraine, it would spare Hodgson a nervous final night.

Reuters



First Published: Friday, October 4, 2013 - 17:44

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