Hodgson keeping England grounded

14 October 2013 09:16

England's triumphant players returned to the dressing room to some harsh words from manager Roy Hodgson on Friday as he attempted to guard against complacency when his side face Poland on Tuesday.

The 4-1 win over Montenegro means England will progress straight to next summer's World Cup finals in Brazil if they beat the Poles at Wembley.

Failure would at least come with the sweetener of a play-off spot.

Yet, with France among the potential opponents on that hazardous path, Hodgson would prefer to be looking ahead to friendly meetings with Germany and either Argentina or Uruguay in November.

So he quickly cut through the euphoria generated by a sparkling second-half display to bring his players down to earth with a hefty bump.

"Sometimes it is easier to be harsh when people have done well - and I was harsh," he said. "I was very keen to point out one or two things to them. It wasn't anything celebratory.

"I will say this until I am blue in the face, but the one thing I want to guard against is complacency.

"I don't imagine there will be any, and certainly after the things I said to them they will have a pretty good idea where I stand on the subject."

It is another welcome side to Hodgson, following on from the adventure of a team selection that saw 22-year-old Andros Townsend handed his debut on the right wing when there were more conservative alternatives.

There is a theme developing.

Source: PA