England Fans Attacked In Kiev
Although our visits to the Ukraine have been some of the best I've experienced as a Newcastle fan ... Roy Hodgson has condemned a bloody attack on England fans in Kiev.
The incident took place in a central area of the Ukraine capital on Sunday evening, less than 48 hours before England's World Cup qualifier against the former Soviet republic.Pictures of blood-spattered pavements quickly circulated on social media sites, drawing condemnation from all quarters.The attack came a year after England fans encountered no problems in the country during Euro 2012.Hodgson was stunned by the attack and said that he hoped all the injured made a quick recovery in time for the game in the Olympic Stadium."We deplore that, everyone deplores that and I'm certain people in Kiev deplore that," manager Hodgson said."I don't know the circumstances. It's unfortunate these things can happen when football fans get together."The atmosphere here last year was remarkable and nothing like that happened."I'm sad it's occurred and I only hope our fans are not going to be put off by that and I hope the fans aren't so badly injured they can't attend the game."It is understood the three people concerned have now left hospital and have opted not to co-operate with police investigations.Around 2,000 England fans are expected to attend Tuesday night's game though and police have reported a relaxed atmosphere in a city where there were no problems last year despite a much larger number of supporters for two games in Euro 2012."We are aware of what happened last night and we will be going round most of the major bars, including this particular one to make sure there are no problems," said Rachel Barber, head of the UK police delegation in the Ukraine."We would urge supporters to enjoy themselves but to do so without upsetting anybody."I am pleased to say that currently, the atmosphere in the town is good, so in that sense what happened last night was out of the blue."Sometimes there can be an element of bravado on social media and you can never legislate for something happening but hopefully the England fans will just have a good time in what is a fantastic city."Ukraine head coach Mykhaylo Fomenko later apologised to the England fans about the attacks."We are very sorry about this," he told a press conference at the stadium where the two teams will face off in front of a sell-out 70,000 crowd.Hodgson has cast off any notion of conservatism by insisting that England will go in for the kill in their crunch clash against Ukraine.With Ukraine trailing England by just one point with three matches left, Hodgson had been expected to adopt a cautious approach to the game at the Olympic Stadium in Ukraine.But it became clear on Monday night that the 66-year-old senses a very real opportunity to kill off any talk of the Three Lions not making the plane to Brazil this week.His squad may be depleted by injury and Ukraine may be unbeaten in their last six matches, but Hodgson wants a victory to put his team three points clear with just two games left."These are two good teams who are in form and are capable of winning the group so it's a bit of a cup final and when you play in a cup final you don't necessarily win games by being cautious," the former Liverpool boss said, addressing a packed conference hall in the bowels of the Olympic Stadium where England were knocked out of Euro 2012 last summer."Sometimes you win it by going on to the front foot and trying to make certain you score more goals than the opposition so we are aware of those things."We don't have any qualms about what we have to do and the task in front of us."What we need to do is get a result and the players are confident that they can put on a good performance."Hodgson did concede it would be "backs to the wall" if England lost, but that seemed to be just a flickering thought in the otherwise positive ideas that were rushing through his mind.There was even a touch of Kevin Keegan about the current England boss as he questioned the comments of his opposite number Mykhaylo Fomenko.Fomenko gave a very dull press conference before Hodgson took to the stage. The only interesting part of the coach's press conference was when he conceded the crunch game was the biggest of his career.Hodgson took his opposite number to task, responding with: "I understand where he is coming from, but I have to say these emotional statements... I have been in football a long time and I have had a lot of games."If I had a little bit of money for every time I heard an opposition player say this is the game of my life I would be a very rich man, so it doesn't impress me enormously."Unlike Fomenko, who spent his press conference straight-batting questions, Hodgson divulged almost every detail about his team selection.Happy with his team's performance in their 4-0 defeat of Moldova, Hodgson conceded that he would only make one change to his starting XI because of Danny Welbeck's suspension.The Manchester United forward scored two good goals against the Moldovans, but a harsh booking for dissent means he will miss Tuesday's game.With unlikely hero Rickie Lambert and Theo Walcott both in form for the Three Lions, Hodgson is confident he has enough firepower available for Tuesday night."We have plenty of options, we are by no means limited," Hodgson said.
Source: Newcastle United Mad
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