Slovenia v England - Preview
Published : 23 Jun 2010 06:34:08Rss feed
Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek is refusing to be distracted by the turmoil within the England camp ahead of Group C showdown in Port Elizabeth.
Kek's side go into the game sitting top of the group and knowing a point would be enough to take them through to the second round, a result which could prove fatal for Fabio Capello's men.
However, while the debate over England's unimpressive form in South Africa to date and John Terry's "big mistake" rumbles on, the Slovenians are in no mood to be sidetracked.
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Kek said: "We are aware of the significance of the match for England and Slovenia. The stakes are very high. England have to go to the second round; Slovenia wish to go to the second round. This is our wish.
"I am just dealing with the problems Slovenia face, not focusing on the problems England face. I have great respect for England and their players and their coach. However, my thoughts are devoted only to Slovenia."
Captain Steven Gerrard admits England are in a must-win situation but "wants to make the nation proud" with victory. The midfielder insists the players have a "hunger and desire" to make amends for the woeful performance during the goalless draw with Algeria on Friday.
England have to beat current Group C leaders Slovenia to make sure of their place in the last 16 and Gerrard knows there has to be a significant improvement.
The Liverpool captain wants a return to the form demonstrated during the qualifying campaign when Fabio Capello's side won nine of their 10 matches.
The 30-year-old said: "It is a do-or-die situation. We need to perform, we need to improve on the last performance. "The training was very sharp this morning and hopefully everyone can do the business. In the last performance, we didn't do what we did in the qualifying games."
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