Steve McClaren knows better than most what Roy Hodgson is going through as England prepare for what can only be seen as a must win game for the Three Lions in order to ensure automatic qualification for the World Cup in Brazil 2014. The former England boss believes that Montenegro are a dangerous team and that Hodgson’s men will have to be on their guard tonight:
“They’re from eastern Europe, technically very good, fighters and always very passionate. When you play away the atmosphere is electric and England will have to deal with the noise generated by the home fans. They are very proud people and that passion feeds into the team.
“These kind of teams are very dangerous because technically and tactically they are very good. When you have that sort of passion, fight and togetherness, on the day it could be very difficult for England.
“It can however also work the other way, for example Montenegro could be too passionate or temperamental, they could go over the top and let themselves down. In many ways the game is not really about tactics, it’s about and controlling that emotion on both sides.”
Despite talking highly of the threat that Montenegro will present England, McClaren is in no doubt that the Three Lions can get a result:
“Of course they can win the game, without a shadow of doubt and they’re capable of doing that. It’s a great test of their mentality, combating the outside elements like the atmosphere, fans and the on-field intimidation from playing these big European teams.
“We saw it in the last game with Rooney’s sending off, which has to serve as a lesson to the players. Every England player must be aware that to reach their potential, they have to play with emotional control, discipline and make sure England do not have to play a game with ten men.”
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