Hodgson has faith in England players for World Cup qualifiers

Roy Hodgson is confident his England squad can deliver in the first of two crucial World Cup qualifiers, Sky Sports has reported, as the national team prepare to host Montenegro at Wembley on Friday.

Poland are the visitors on Tuesday, again at Wembley, and two wins would seal England’s place in Brazil next year. But if Poland were to beat Ukraine on Friday – and England were victorious against Montenegro – then England’s place would be all-but guaranteed before the final qualifier next week.

Hodgson is sure that whether qualification is confirmed on Friday or Tuesday, it will be confirmed even if some observers continue to question his side. “I trust the players and I believe in them,” he said. “I know how determined they are to do the job.

People do doubt sometimes,” Hodgson continued. “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.

Hodgson insists that this is a better England side than when he took over in 2012, with England so far unbeaten through qualification, recording four wins and four draws from their eight games. “We are a long way forward compared to how I felt 18 months ago,” Hodgson said. “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. We are one of the big nations. We are expected to qualify for World Cups and European Championships.

England have occasionally missed out on the big international tournaments, failing to qualify for Euro 2008 and World Cup ’94, as well as missing two World Cups in the 1970s. Hodgson took over from Fabio Capello with qualification for Euro 2012 already assured.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on England vs Montenegro

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