England boss Hodgson not taking Moldova win for granted
Roy Hodgson has spoken of the risks in expecting a comfortable England victory as they begin their World Cup qualification campaign against minnows Moldova on Friday night. According to the Press Association, the England manager pointed to some encouraging Moldovan results in previous qualification campaigns against the Netherlands, while also warning that the opposition will have cash incentives to cause a huge upset in the Zimbru Stadium.
“We are well aware that a very strong Holland team only won here 1-0 and at home only won 1-0 as well. The Moldovans‘ bonus system will have to be their bonus system. We have our own fish to fry and we want to try and win the game,” Hodgson said.
Hodgson added that against what is sure to be a massed Moldovan defence, that preparation and patience is key. ”You know if you don’t prepare for a tough game or an opponent that is going to be well organised and disciplined in defence, then you are not preparing for the game properly. We are aware of that and this is a team capable of playing well and causing problems so we won’t under-estimate them,” the England manager continued.
Hodgson is undefeated in open play in his short time as England boss, having only fallen to Italy in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals on a penalty shootout, but is relishing the job - particularly now he will be leading the team from the beginning of the qualification campaign after being thrown in weeks before the start of the European Championships. He said: “It was a good time for me to start with a tournament even though it wasn’t an easy time. It was good for me because I feel much more confident knowing about players going into these first qualifiers than I would have done had I been employed after the tournament and this would have been the first squad I selected.”
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