Neville warns England to fear San Marino
Published : 08 Oct 2012 12:48:10
England assistant coach Gary Neville has warned his players to think of the humiliation they would suffer if San Marino cause one of the all-time great shocks in Friday's World Cup qualifier.
Roy Hodgson's side are huge favourites to beat one of the weakest teams in world football at Wembley and Neville is well aware that complacency is likely to be the only obstacle to a convincing victory.
San Marino have never won a qualification game and their only victory in 22 years came in a friendly against Liechtenstein in 2004.
Along with Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands, they sit bottom of FIFA's rankings list on zero points.
Neville knows an England defeat or even a draw would be remembered forever as one of the most embarrassing moments in his country's football history and he is keen to ensure the players don't take San Marino for granted.
"My mentality when I played in games of this nature was always to scare myself," Neville said on Monday.
"It was a preparation tool. I thought of what might happen, and believe the world would collapse if I didn't win this game.
"That is what I used to do when people tell you it is a certainty. But I can't stand here as an England coach and say England shouldn't do anything but win on Friday. Nobody can."
However, Neville is confident Hodgson's squad are professional enough to ensure their preparation and performance will no different to a clash with a more daunting opponent.
"The players are the managers of their own destiny when they get to this level," Neville added. "They are really experienced. They have been here before. They have been round the block.
"They know the pitfalls of any game of football if you don't approach it in the right way. San Marino will put people behind the ball and try to catch us on the break."