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  • Mitre June 17

Roy Hodgson says England job only half done

England manager Roy Hodgson insisted "the job is only half done" after victory over Montenegro left them needing to beat Poland on Tuesday to secure World Cup qualification.

Montenegro were beaten 4-1 at Wembley, but Ukraine's win against Poland means England must win their final qualifier to confirm their place in Brazil next summer.

Hodgson said: "We know what we need to do. If we want to qualify directly we must beat Poland and this will be a very difficult game."

England top the group with 19 points, one ahead of Ukraine going into the final round of matches.

The 66-year-old added: "I watched the first half of their game against Ukraine before we went out to play and they played very well. If they play as well as they did in that half it will not be easy for us."

Hodgson remains confident England will complete that job but knows anything less than victory is unlikely to be enough with Ukraine facing the relative formality of recording a win against San Marino in their final game.

Montenegro were beaten 4-1 at Wembley, but Ukraine's win against Poland means England must win their final qualifier to confirm their place in Brazil next summer.

"I always back the players," said the former Fulham, West Brom and Liverpool boss. "I trust them. We are unbeaten in nine games in qualifying and I think we are quite capable of going unbeaten through the 10th game against Poland.

"With all the talented individuals we have I have got to back them - I would be foolish not to."

The bookies hardly share Hodgson's concern though with England no better than 1/10 to qualify for Brazil and they are just 2/9 to beat Poland on Tuesday.

The fixture brings back haunting memories for England fans of England's famous defeat to the Poles in 1973.

Polish 'keeper Jan Tomaszewski, labelled as "a clown" by Brian Clough in the build-up to England's crucial World Cup qualifier with Poland, certainly had the last laugh after the game. The shot-stopper turned in an astounding man-of-the-match display to earn his side a 1-1 draw and a place at the tournament finals the following year at the expense of the Three Lions, where Poland went on to finish an impressive third.

Fortunately for this England side, the Poles don't look anywhere near as good as that side from 1973.

JB

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