According to The Telegraph, Chelsea defender Gary Cahill hopes that he can regain his place in England’s starting line-up against Moldova tomorrow night after missing Euro 2012 with a broken jaw.
The 26-year-old had to watch the Euro Championships in Poland and Ukraine at home after a freak collision with goalkeeper Joe Hart in England’s final training session before flying out to Eastern Europe.
As a consequence, Manchester City’s Joleon Lescott played alongside Cahill’s Chelsea team-mate John Terry at the back and but for a poor ten minutes in the second half against Sweden, the pairing were impressive throughout the whole campaign.
Cahill admits that this will make his chances of breaking back into the England first team harder, “We did really well defensively which obviously makes my job now harder. I certainly feel that I am fighting to get myself back in. But I don’t think there is a time when I can rest on my laurels and think, ‘I am in the side now’.”
One factor that Cahill admits will significantly boost his chances of playing for England is the good chemistry he has playing alongside John Terry at Chelsea, which subsequently led to European success last season. The former Bolton man said he enjoys playing alongside the Chelsea captain, “He prefers left and I prefer right. The experience he has got rubbed off on me as well as his composure and positioning.”
Cahill was speaking to the media yesterday ahead of England’s first World Cup Qualification group game ahead of Moldova tomorrow night. One of the major talking points leading up to the game is the quality of the pitch in the recently built Zimbru stadium in Chisinau.
This is not the first occasion when the Football Association have had fears over a Moldovan pitch. England were also critical of the pitch when they played in the old Moldovan national stadium in a World Cup Qualifier in a 3-0 victory for the Three Lions in 1996.
Cahill admitted that the state of the pitch in Chisinau is not ideal for the players, “It is going to be difficult. The conditions over there are meant to be really bad. We are going over there to train on the pitch because it is not great, somebody was telling me. We have been aware that conditions probably won’t be what we are used to but we will see that first hand when we train there.”
England manager Roy Hodgson may use the Moldova game as a chance to rest some key players in the team in preparation for the Ukraine game on Tuesday night which should be a much tougher test for his side.
Moldova are currently ranked 141st in the FIFA rankings and have only beaten Finland and San Marino (on two occasions) in their last two major tournament qualification attempts. Cahill said, “By the time we get to the game, we will be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. We will be having individual meetings about their players and their shape. We will be well drilled for the game.”