Roy Hodgson claims 18,000 Poles at Wembley will boost England’s opponents
England are ninety minutes away from a place in the 2014 World Cup finals, although some fans are concerned that Tuesday’s match against Poland will feel more like an away game.
October 14th, 2013
The FA have allowed 18,000 Polish supporters to buy tickets for the match and, although that represents roughly 20% of the crowd, it is clear that the fans will make themselves heard even if their team can’t qualify for the World Cup.
Not that Roy Hodgson sees it as a negative and is looking forward to the chance to steer England to Brazil next summer, with his team having beaten Montenegro 4-1 on Friday night to give themselves a fantastic chance of going through.
Hodgson admitted that Poland would be boosted by having a big supporter following at Wembley although believes that a repeat England performance should see them over the line in this match.
“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. The 65,000 against 20,000 is a good margin for us. I don’t fear them.
“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 dismissed talk of a possible play-off if England fail to win the match, with Kyle Walker the only member of Friday’s starting XI likely to miss out 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.”