Roy Hodgson is 90 minutes away from putting England onto the plane for next summer's World Cup in Rio, Brazil.A 4-1 victory over Montenegro tonight at Wembley was well merited, but Hodgson still felt that his side had to work very hard for the three points."There was no doubt that it was a tough game," he said. "They were very well organised and didn't panic. They were even dangerous on the counter attack. But we were a bit sharper in the second half."While it was a three goal margin, Hodgson felt that the third, by Spurs's Andros Townsend was the most important.
"Andros's goal, was crucial," he admitted."They scored a fortunate goal out of the blue (to make it 2-1) and suddenly it was a game again."Andros's goal took the wind out of their sails.
"He deserved all the credit. He played with the calmness I saw when he was on loan at QPR and now with Spurs."England now top the group with Ukraine in second place.Ukraine beat Poland but their game had started earlier.Hodgson had one eye on that before his side took to the field."It was 1-0 to Ukraine when we kicked off so there was some anxiety," he said.
"We had some good chances and I always feared we would get through them, and when we did things opened up."We should have scored a third goal when we were 2-0 up.""The message to the players now is to get the job done on Tuesday night - it's only half done at the moment"Poland will be difficult, it will be tough."But I always trust my players to hold their nerve - we are nine unbeaten and I back them to make it 10 - I would be foolish not to back them."One man under pressure tonight was goalkeeper Joe Hart, but understandably, Hodgson had nothing but paradise for the Manchester City stopper. "Hart deserved to be our number one goalkeeper."He made good saves."Hodgson would not be drawn on the choice of Townsend to make his debut, suggesting that it was tough call to make."It was a subject of discussion," he admitted."It was difficult to leave Wilshere , Milner and Carrick out - there was lots of talking."He also rebuffed suggestions that it's not his natural instinct to pick young players."We have been picking young players all along," he countered."Rahem Sterling, Welbeck, Sturridge - but you can only pick players who are available."England face Poland on Tuesday and it has echoes of a match 1973 when England had to defeat the Poles to qualify for the World Cup in Germany the following year.A 1-1 draw was not enough and Poland went on to qualify instead. Hodgson was asked what he was doing at that time."I was in South Africa, there was no telly there in 1973," he laughed.Let's hope he is laughing all the way to Rio come Tuesday night.
Source: Chelsea MAD