England happy as Blatter, FIFA steal spotlight

England winger Adam Johnson said the team is enjoying the lack of media scrutiny ahead of Saturday’s Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland.With the majority of the media spotlight focusing on the woes at FIFA, England have enjoyed a low-key build up to the Wembley match.

But Manchester City’s Johnson said the side will be out to put on an impressive showing against Switzerland – a country England have not lost to since 1947 – as they look to move clear of Montenegro on top of Group G.

England are level on 10 points with Montenegro but top the group on goal difference, and Johnson said the lack of attention was being enjoyed by the camp.

“I think it’s definitely suited the players,” Johnson said. “A lot of games before there has been a lot of pressure and build up on the team, on individuals as well which is sometimes not good.”

“Obviously it’s massive for us. It’s the last game of the season for a lot of the players – well, for all of the players. It’s one last big push before we get a break and everyone wants go into the break off the back of a big win and in a good position.”

“We are at home, at Wembley. We’ve got to win or try and win every single game we play at home in front of a big crowd. If we play like we did in Switzerland (a 3-1 win in Basel last September), we have got a good chance of winning the game.”

England goalkeeper and Johnson’s City team-mate Joe Hart said the lack of attention before the game did not bother the players at all.

“I don’t think anyone really cares whether the media spotlight is on us or not,” Hart said.

“It’s a massive game (and) it’s a massive three points for us to get that end goal of being in the European Championships.”

“England are expected to win every game. If we played against a team of 500 people, we would be expected to win at Wembley, so nothing changes there.”

“But we are just going to turn up and do our best and I think we have got enough to get those three points and go to the top of the group again.”

 


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