Hodgson: Poland lifted by Wembley support for England game
England manager Roy Hodgson has said having 18,000 of their own fans in Wembley will lift Poland on Tuesday for their World Cup qualifier, says The Guardian.
The Football Association increased the allocation for the Poland fans from the original 8,000, to 18,000 due to security reasons.
Despite the Polish expecting to have a heavy backing on Tuesday, Hodgson says he doesn’t fear them, even if the added support boosts the vistors. “I presume it will, and they'd prefer to play in front of 18,000 rather than none of their own fans, said Hodgson.
“We have a lot of Polish people living in this country and there would have been safety problems if those tickets hadn't been distributed in the way the FA have,” Hodgson added. “The 65,000 against 20,000 is a good margin for us. I don't fear them.”
Hodgson continued: “From what I understand the FA were forced into it otherwise there would have been infiltration by Polish fans. We're used to playing in games where the other team have their supporters behind them.”
Hodgson played down the possibility of a play-off, should England fail to beat the Poles on Tuesday. “I still feel the tension and the focus and this is the game we have to win. This is our game, it's our stadium, it's our fans, we're a good team.”
Andros Townsend, who scored on his England debut during the 4-1 win over Montenegro, picked up a knock in the match and Hodgson was hopeful the winger will be fit for the Poland clash. However, Hodgson did not confirm who will replace Kyle Walker at right-back, with the 23-year-old suspended.
England go into Tuesday’s match top of Group H with 19 points, remaining undefeated after nine matches. Ukraine are just one point behind England and could still snatch the top spot and qualify ahead of the Three Lions if Hodgson’s side fail to beat Poland at Wembley.
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