Poland vs. England  1 - 1

Article

Rooney confident of qualification

18 October 2012 16:07

England striker Wayne Rooney is remaining calm after the national team's poor showing in Poland on Wednesday.

Roy Hodgson's men laboured to a 1-1 draw in Warsaw on a sodden pitch after a waterlogged ground forced the match to be delayed for almost 24 hours.

Rooney scored his 32nd goal for England with a first-half header from Steven Gerrard's corner, before Kamil Glik equalised after the break to earn the hosts a deserved point.

Despite surrendering the lead, Rooney was not too disappointed with a draw which leaves England top of their qualification group after four games.

"It was a difficult game, a difficult pitch," the 26-year-old told reporters. "We weren't at our best but we dug in and got a draw.

"We know we can play better but this is a difficult place to come so it is a decent point."

Hodgson is yet to lose during a 90-minute contest in his tenure as the national team boss, and after wins away in Moldova and at home to San Marino along with a draw with Ukraine, England are still in control of their qualification from Group H.

And that position has Rooney confident they will reach the World Cup finals in Brazil in two years time.

"We knew it was a tough group, but we're still confident," he said.

"We believe in ourselves and we believe we are the best team in the group, so we are confident of qualifying. Hopefully we will win the rest of our home games and have a great chance."

Article

Hodgson satisfied with draw

17 October 2012 20:48

England manager Roy Hodgson was pleased his team picked up an 'important' point with a 1-1 draw against Poland on Wednesday.

Wayne Rooney put the visitors ahead from a corner on the half-hour, but England were unable to hold on and Kamil Glik headed in a second-half equaliser in Warsaw.

Having had the World Cup qualifier delayed a day because of a waterlogged pitch, Hodgson was glad his side took something from their trip to Poland.

"I don't think it's one of our better performances if I'm to be honest. I'm very disappointed but I think there are lots of factors that need to be taken into consideration," he told ITV after the match.

"The pitch was quite difficult, it was a soggy pitch, the ball wasn't moving that well, it was really a pitch more suited to a long-ball game than a passing game.

"Also, of course, the extra 36 hours or whatever we've been spending in a hotel ready to play the game, it definitely didn't do us any favours.

"But having said that, I'm pleased with a point because I don't think we played well enough today to get the three points and I think a point here, away from home, when the group is decided next October, we might find that was an important point that we took here."

Despite opening the scoring, Rooney was substituted in the 73rd minute after a lacklustre performance by the Manchester United star.

Hodgson, whose team sit top of Group H, said Rooney's below-par performance and tiredness were the reasons he came off.

"He got the goal, which was good, but I don't think Wayne was having one of his better days," he said.

"I think he was also tiring, it was a tiring pitch, so we had (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain on the bench."

Poland coach Waldemar Fornalik rued a lack of concentration from his team on the half-hour, which led to Rooney's opener.

"We had a failed cover at one corner kick and that led to a mishap, but in the second half we forced the English into defence," Fornalik said.

Torino defender Glik praised his side for their hard work, highlighting the fact England struggled to break them down.

"We toiled very hard. It was a very tough game, especially when we were losing 1-0," he said.

"Our game was consistent, we had a good pace from the start and we kept it in the second half and we scored. England did not create clear scoring situations.''

Article

World Cup qualifying: Poland 1 England 1

17 October 2012 19:18

Goals from Wayne Rooney and Kamil Glik saw England and Poland share the spoils of a 1-1 draw in their World Cup qualifier in Warsaw.

Rooney opened the scoring with a header from Steven Gerrard's corner in the first half but Glik replied in the same fashion after half-time in a match rescheduled from Tuesday due to a waterlogged pitch.

Poland might have had the lead in the ninth minute when Jakub Wawrzyniak's low cross into the area reached Kamil Grosicki, but the midfielder's first-time effort on his left foot was scuffed.

England were struggling to keep the ball past the halfway line with some lazy distribution, and their greatest threat in the first half-hour came through James Milner, who got forward on the right and almost set up an incoming Jermain Defoe at the near post.

The visitors took the lead against the run of play through Rooney, who prodded home a header after some lax marking from Lukasz Piszczek.

Poland kept coming, Grosicki picking up a brilliant flicked pass forward from Robert Lewandowski and firing his shot just wide, but England's advantage held to the interval.

Glen Johnson bailed Phil Jagielka out when the Everton man's disastrous touch in the area nearly let Lewandowski in moments after the break, but the hosts kept pressing and Joe Hart had to tap over in order to deny Ludovic Obraniak's long-range effort.

Defoe, isolated in the second half, was thwarted by Glik at close range shortly after the hour mark before being replaced by Danny Welbeck. The substitute looked to have teed up Rooney for a second as he drew goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton out of position but the Manchester United striker blasted over.

England were punished as Poland earned a corner at the other end and Glik, let in by Hart's failed attempt to punch clear, headed home.

England remained on the back foot but had moments of threat at the other end, Milner flashing another cross through the face of goal with Welbeck lurking.

To sneak all three points would have flattered Roy Hodgson's men, however.

Article

Bevington defends England players

17 October 2012 14:41

Club England managing director Adrian Bevington has played down England players failing to acknowledge travelling supporters on Tuesday.

The UEFA World Cup qualifying encounter in Warsaw was postponed after a day of torrential rain in the Polish capital, with authorities at the National Stadium failing to close the arena's roof.

Large numbers of England fans had made the trip to Poland but the players failed to emerge from the bowels of the stadium after the postponement to thank the supporters.

Bevington told reporters: "We have made it clear, frequently, just how important the supporters are to us. These are pretty unique circumstances.

"We had said to the players to get changed significantly earlier than when the game would be called off because we didn't think there was any chance of the match being played, but we didn't want it to look as if we'd made their decision for them.

"There's nothing but respect for those fans who have travelled all that way. There was no disrespect intended.

"The most important thing here is that, while there are issues of disappointment for all the fans who have travelled, the safety of the players on the pitch is paramount.

"That has to be the priority. We were not able to confirm anything (about the game being postponed) until we were told ourselves.

"We were asked not to confirm anything until we were told by the referee at 10.05pm. It's extremely regrettable for all supporters who have missed out tonight.

"Hopefully the game goes ahead at 5pm (local time) tomorrow with supporters in the stadium."

Wayne Rooney tweeted his thanks to fans, and also expressed regret at not being able to greet the travelling support personally.

He tweeted: "Thanks to the England fans who came tonight. Sorry we couldn't come out of the tunnel to see you but we all really appreciate your support."

Article

England fans furious at postponement

17 October 2012 09:23

England fans have slammed authorities for their part in the postponement of the World Cup qualifying match against Poland in Warsaw.

The decision not to close the roof of the National Stadium - reportedly made by the Polish FA earlier on Tuesday - meant that the pitch was subject to a heavy deluge of water throughout the afternoon and evening, and after a handful of inspections by the referee, the game was eventually called off.

Mark Perryman of the London England Fans' group was in attendance in Poland, and said that the supporters were relayed very little information, and that the non-usage of the roof was 'inexplicable'.

"It was appalling," Perryman told Goal.com. "They had the big screen suspended above the pitch, and the only announcement that came was that there would be an announcement at 21.45 local time.

"People are standing there getting texts from home. We can see that it's pouring and pouring with rain, and the referee comes on maybe an hour before 21.45. The ball was hardly moving when he was throwing it.

"There was virtually no communication. I mean, it was a bit difficult because the fans were making a lot of noise so you couldn't really hear the announcement, but as far as I could hear there was only one on the screen, which was an appalling way to treat the fans.

"I've got to say, I don't think we should get on our moral high-horse because Wembley hasn't even got a roof. It does seem strange though.

"I don't know when it started raining, to be honest - we were playing a fans' match against the Polish fans to launch Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) in the afternoon, but it clearly started raining at some stage in the afternoon.

"Why the roof wasn't pulled across as a precaution I don't know. I don't know enough about the technological side of stadium roofs, but it just seems inexplicable that if they've got the facility, why not use it?"

The game was eventually postponed until 5pm local time on Wednesday and Perryman says it will be interesting to see how many Polish fans are in attendance, with the kick-off time coming during the working day.

The Polish FA were reportedly not keen on playing the game so close to their league fixtures, which are scheduled to continue on Friday.

Perryman added: "We've been told kick-off time is at five o'clock, which is during the working day for the Poles, so it could be very interesting to see what the attendance will be.

"There were probably a lot of negotiations going on between the FA and the Polish FA because the Polish league has games on Friday.

"The English FA were probably thinking: 'We have all these lucrative friendlies lined up next year because of the 150th Anniversary, nightmare! We'll have to cancel the Brazil game or the Ireland or Scotland game!'"

Article

Hodgson warns Cole of competition

16 October 2012 12:42

Roy Hodgson has warned Ashley Cole that the competition for his spot as England's first-choice left-back is 'as great as it's ever been'.

The 65-year-old made sure to stress the ability of the Three Lions' emerging defenders, emphasising that the younger generation are not far off the standard being set by the more senior squad members.

"There are some very good young players coming on to the scene and the experienced players will find it harder and harder to fight off the challenge of these younger players," Hodgson said.

"The interesting thing is there are more and more young players coming through - Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton at Spurs, (Ryan) Bertrand at Chelsea, Adam Smith at Spurs, (Kieran) Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson at Arsenal, Martin Kelly at Liverpool.

"We're not going to be hide-bound to one or two players. We'll have very good alternatives.

"We're lucky that, alongside Ashley - who was regarded as the only left-back in England for many years - we have Leighton, who will always push him and some interesting younger left-backs, such as Kieran Gibbs and Ryan Bertrand.

"It's been a problem position in many of the countries where I've worked, but now we're very well-off. That's encouraging.

"I would think the competition is as great as it's ever been, even though Leighton has been around for a long time."

Cole has been at the centre of controversy recently, having taken to Twitter on October 5 to criticise the Football Association (FA) in the wake of their release of the report detailing the long-running case between Anton Ferdinand and John Terry.

Cole's reaction invited speculation about his own international future, but with the player having since apologised for his actions, Hodgson claims the episode has been resolved and on-pitch matters are his only interest.

"We had the incident and the situation, and that was dealt with very clearly and quickly, and to the FA's satisfaction," he said.

"The chairman made his views very clear. I've been allowed to concentrate on football and to work with AC on the field. That is all."

Article

Carragher has faith in England´s youth

15 October 2012 13:14

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has backed England's young players to fill the void left by the likes of Rio Ferdinand and John Terry.

Carragher was a member of the 'golden generation' - a tag he referred to as 'silly' - of players that travelled to Euro 2004 and the World Cup in 2006.

The 34-year-old has not played for his country since 2010 having stated that he would prefer to concentrate on club football, and while Ferdinand has similarly faded out of the national team picture, Terry announced his retirement earlier in October.

"The big hitters have moved on now," Carragher said. "Rio and John Terry have been the mainstays for a long time. They will be missed. I was part of that squad and group of players with the silly tag of the 'golden generation'.

"I don't think we have the players to replace them just yet but there are young players coming through who will hopefully fill that role.

"The job of (manager) Roy (Hodgson) and those players is to get to Brazil and take it further when we get there. I'm sure at this time next season there will be a player for England we haven't thought of right now. That is how quickly things change."

Carragher identified Tuesday's World Cup qualifying match against Poland in Warsaw as one of England's key qualification fixtures.

Having been held to a draw at Wembley by Ukraine, the veteran says it is now vital that the Three Lions pick up points against the teams likely to challenge them at the top of the group on the road.

"The Poland and Ukraine away games were something you looked at when the draw was made," he said.

"You would like to get three or four points from those after drawing against Ukraine at home."

Article

Jagielka: No complacency for England

15 October 2012 04:04

England defender Phil Jagielka is wary of the threat posed by Poland ahead of their clash in Warsaw on Tuesday.

A win for the hosts would move them level on points with England in Group H of European World Cup qualification for Brazil 2014.

And with an attack headlined by Borussia Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski, Jagielka is expecting a far tougher encounter than the one the Three Lions faced in their last game against San Marino.

"We knew what game we were going to be in for on Friday night. We got through it OK and we know what is coming up on Tuesday, it will be a bit more of a test," he said.

"But we'll build up for the game as professionally as possible and we're expecting a much more difficult game."

Whilst the Everton defender stated that his side is aiming to win in Warsaw, he conceded that the team would not be entirely unhappy to return to England with a point.

"It won't be a bad night's work if we come away with a draw. We'll still look healthy when it comes to qualification for Brazil. But we're going out there to win the game and if it's a 0-0 or 1-1 we'll take that and get set for when the qualifiers start again next year," he said.

Roy Hodgson's men will have to make do without Chelsea pair Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand after both who were ruled out of the squad with a calf injury and illness respectively.

The duo were also absent for the 5-0 win over San Marino and they will return to Chelsea for further treatment.

The continued absence of midfield stalwart Lampard may be of particular concern to Hodgson, however young midfielder Tom Cleverly believes the squad can cope with the loss.

"Frank is a great player and can offer a lot to any team in the world," Cleverly said.

"He's a box-to-box player and scores from midfield so he's a big part to our team. It's a loss for us but that's why you have squads. We have a lot of good midfielders and hopefully he won't be missed."

Theo Walcott will also miss with a suspected bruised lung after a heavy clash with San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini.

Article

Jagielka alert to Polish threat

14 October 2012 18:55

England defender Phil Jagielka says his side are anticipating a rigorous test against Poland in Warsaw on Tuesday.

The Everton centre-back was rarely troubled on Friday as England collected their first home win of the World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign with a 5-0 rout of San Marino.

Jagielka was pleased to record a morale-boosting victory but acknowledged that the Euro 2012 co-hosts would present a far sterner proposition away from Wembley.

"Three points in the bag, five goals scored and none conceded, as far as we're concerned it was a good professional job done," Jagielka told the Football Association's official website.

"We knew what kind of a test we were in for and we got through it okay - is probably about the right word - and we knew that Tuesday is probably going to be a lot more of a test.

"It was all about a clean sheet from the defensive point of view and for the front men to create and score goals and get some confidence heading into Tuesday.

"We're expecting a much more difficult game on Tuesday night."

England will have to do without Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand at the National Stadium, while Theo Walcott will also sit out the match after suffering a bruised lung in a challenge with San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini.

But Jagielka insists Roy Hodgson's side have more than enough strength in depth to deal with the latest injury setbacks.

"Frank's done well for England, especially recently, so we will be missing him," Jagielka said.

"But if you look at the other night's game, Michael (Carrick) and Tom (Cleverley) did fantastically well and we've also got our captain (Steven Gerrard) to come back, so cover for Frank not being here is looking really good at the moment."

While conceding Lampard's absence was a setback, midfielder Cleverley is confident his side have the cover overcome a difficult test against the Poles.

"Frank is a great player and can offer a lot to any team in the world," Cleverley said.

"He's a box to box player and scores from midfield so he's a big part to our team. It's a loss for us but that's why you have squads. We have a lot of good midfielders and hopefully he won't be missed.

"They've (Poland) got a lot of good players, I watched some of them in the Euros and Dortmund had a couple in their Champions League game with City.

"But we've prepared well, we've worked hard and we'll watch them over the next few days and find out what they can throw at us on Tuesday."

Article

Lampard, Bertrand to miss Poland clash

14 October 2012 16:30

Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand will miss England's World Cup qualifier with Poland, the FA have confirmed.

Both players did not feature in Friday's win over San Marino as Lampard was struggling with a calf injury while Bertrand missed through illness.

In a blow to England manager Roy Hodgson, both have failed to recover in time for Tuesday's match in Warsaw.

An FA statement read: "Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand have been ruled out of England's Fifa World Cup qualifier with Poland.

"Lampard (calf) and Bertrand (illness) did not take part in England's 5-0 win over San Marino, and will not be ready for Tuesday's game.

"Roy Hodgson and his squad of 23 players travel to Warsaw on Monday morning."

The news comes a day after Arsenal winger Theo Walcott was ruled out of the match after sustaining a chest injury against San Marino.

Article

Krychowiak anticipates meeting Gerrard

14 October 2012 15:35

Poland international Grzegorz Krychowiak is looking forward to facing idol Steven Gerrard when they take on England in Warsaw on Tuesday.

The Stade de Reims player has impressed for the Ligue 1 side this season and looks set to come up against the Liverpool captain in the World Cup 2014 qualifier at the National Stadium.

Krychowiak insists he does not feel daunted by the prospect of going head-to-head against the big-name England midfielders, who he acknowledged will present a physical test for him.

"The better the team, the better I feel on the pitch and the more confident I am," he told reporters.

"I like high-stakes games.

"Not so long ago I saw these players only on the television. Now I have a big chance of confronting them on the pitch — people like Steven Gerrard, an idol and for me, one of the best midfielders of the last decade.

"Maybe I'm young, but I never feel pressure on the pitch. I don't have that gene in me that's responsible for being afraid.

"I've learnt in France to be brave and sometimes in difficult situations to make the decision which at first looks stupid, but turns out to be a good one.

"Every single week I play against very strong players. If I'm going to play against a tough English style of play it won't make a difference to me."

Article

Welbeck savours Rooney support

14 October 2012 14:24

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck is keen to link up once more with club team-mate Wayne Rooney on international duty this week.

The Red Devils duo will look to continue their sparkling combination after the 5-0 win against San Marino at Wembley on Friday, when they travel to Poland for another World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

The Manchester and Merseyside natives have been impressing at club level but have now successfully transferred their link-up play to the international stage after both scored twice during the comfortable win.

Welbeck, 21, is eager to show the world how clinical the pairing can be.

"I'm used to playing with Wazza up front at United and am really relishing the chance to play with him for England," he told The Daily Mail.

"Once we get into positions in and around the box, we know different styles of combinations to play.

"Now we're all really looking forward to the Poland game. It's going to be difficult but once we get on the pitch, we're going to show our stuff and show everybody what we can do.

"We are top of the group now. That's where we want to be, that's the main aim, and that's where we want to finish as well."

Welbeck also took time to praise the way Rooney took on the captaincy against San Marino.

"As a captain, he's good. He's always talking to you, letting you know what you're doing right, what you're doing wrong," he said.

"He's like that when he's not got the armband as well so it makes no difference really."

Welbeck also insists England should be pleased with their performance against San Marino.

"It was a game of patience. They came to Wembley and they camped more or less their whole team behind the ball so it's obviously going to be difficult to break them down," he said.

"I think, at times, we could have done a bit better. But they played their hearts out and I think we did well in the end to get five goals."

Article

Walcott to miss Poland trip

13 October 2012 19:28

England winger Theo Walcott has been ruled out of Tuesday's World Cup qualifying clash with Poland due to a chest injury.

The Arsenal attacker was replaced by Aaron Lennon 10 minutes into England's 5-0 win over San Marino on Friday following a challenge from goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini which Roy Hodgson later described as 'reckless'.

The 23-year-old subsequently spent a night in hospital and will now miss out on his country's next game in Warsaw.

Whether Walcott will miss any games for the Gunners is as yet unclear.

England top qualifying Group H with 7 points but have played a game more than their next opponents, who have four points.