England v Poland: Andros Townsend injury could prompt Roy Hodgson to change starting line-up

 

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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson said on Monday that Andros Townsend, England’s match-winner on Friday, had picked up an unspecified injury in training and cast some doubt over whether the Tottenham man would play in Tuesday’s must-win World Cup qualifier against Poland.

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Townsend had reported the injury after the win over Montenegro, Hodgson said, later adding that he did not expect it to rule him out of contention tonight. However, it opened up the question of whether the England manager may revert to a more conservative formation against a Poland team likely to be more accomplished than the injury-ravaged Montenegrins.

Hodgson said: “Andros took a knock [during the game], several knocks, but one he told the doctor about. We’re very confident, he trained [yesterday] and I don’t expect him to report anything different. We’re very hopeful.” There are no other problems, although Phil Jagielka sustained a cut mouth in training.

Asked later specifically whether Townsend would start the game, Hodgson said: “I am not thinking about massive changes to the starting line-up but he took a knock so we will still monitor that but we are very hopeful that he will be able to play.” Kyle Walker is suspended having picked up a booking on Friday.

Asked whether he would pursue the same attacking approach, Hodgson said: “We have tried to play that way all along. The criticism came largely as a result of a 0-0 [in Ukraine] which often as a coach in my career I have experienced. It seems to be that the 0-0 draws are an anathema to journalists, they see lots of terrible things. I think we are getting better all the time. I think a lot of the younger, exciting players have come in and added something to our team.”

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