Hodgson plays down importance of Montenegro clash

England boss Roy HodgsonEngland manager Roy Hodgson believes that qualification for the 2014 World Cup will not hinge on their clash with Montenegro.

The Three Lions return to international action in just over a week’s time to face San Marino, before playing the Eastern Europeans four days later.

Montenegro currently lead Group H by two points, a position that England would like to be in due to it guaranteeing a place in the tournament set to be hosted in Brazil.

But, Hodgson played down the importance of their imminent clash with the leaders, insisting that it is too early to suggest that qualification is dependant on their result at the Stadion Pod Goricom:

“(The next qualifiers) are obviously very important when you’ve only got 10 matches to qualify and only one team can qualify,” he is quoted by Sky Sports.

“We have got three teams who can (qualify), with respect to San Marino, and when you play against those teams like Montenegro, Poland and the Ukraine the result is obviously of vital importance.

“With six matches to play, I would refute that the match (against Montenegro) would be decisive.”

However, he did admit that a positive result would help England’s chances of guaranteeing a place in the 2014 tournament:

“We go there to win and if we can win there, we do make our cause in the autumn that little bit easier.”

England have managed two wins and two draws in their opening four matches, beating Moldova and San Marino and securing a point apiece in their games with Poland and Ukraine.

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