England v Poland: Roy Hodgson believes FA were 'virtually forced' into increasing away support allocation by 10,000 tickets

Hodgson's side will walk out in their critical World Cup qualifier on Tuesday to around 20,000 Poland fans at Wembley

Roy Hodgson has responded to the prospect of facing 20,000 Poland fans at Wembley on Tuesday by claiming that he doesn’t fear qualification failure if the fans get behind the side like they have done before.

England go into their final World Cup qualification game knowing a win would book their place in next year’s tournament in Brazil, although anything less would likely mean they would need to qualify via the play-offs, with Ukraine expected to win against San Marino.

The 4-1 victory over Montenegro on Friday at least guaranteed them a second chance should they fail to beat Poland, but Hodgson is determined to emerge victorious to avoid the dreaded two-legged play-offs.

"As far as I'm concerned I still feel the focus is on this as a game we want to win," Hodgson said.

"I'm not thinking of the play-offs.

"I don't think we shall be very satisfied if we don't win. We know we've got the play-offs but I don't think that will affect the attitude of the players. We're a good team, we're at home and we'll want to win."

But the prospect of facing an increased number of away fans has not rattled Hodgson, although he does admit that it will probably boost the visitors with so many of their own fans at an away match.

As reported in The Independent today, the Football Association has given Polish fans a larger allocation than usual, due to the governing body handing Polish fans an additional 10,000 tickets on top of the original 8,000, and another 2,000 expected to have secured tickets in the areas designated for home fans.

"I presume they would rather play in front of 18,000 than hardly any at all like we've had to do sometimes away from home and Montenegro had to do the other day,” Hodgson explained, “but there are a lot of Polish people living in this country and I understand the FA was virtually forced into this situation because of concerns over safety problems with the infiltration of Polish fans into the English fans.

"Our players are pretty used to playing in matches where the opponents have a large number of fans, but I think 65-70,000 versus 20,000 is a pretty good margin for us and if our fans get behind us like they've done before I don't fear that."

An FA statement explaining the decision read: “With high demand for tickets from the large Polish community in England, the FA took the decision, based on safety grounds, to ensure Polish fans were allocated space in a specific area of the ground, rather than attempting to buy tickets in home areas.

The Three Lions’ captain Steven Gerrard echoed Hodgson’s comment, claiming that they would be going all out to win to make sure the play-offs don’t become an event put on their calendar.

"We want to seize this opportunity. We want to win,” said Gerrard.

"We'll have 90,000, a full house at Wembley. It's a huge game on the back of a huge performance a couple of nights ago, and we're ready to go."

With the match demonstrating England's biggest challenge of the 2014 campaign to date, the situation is rather different for the Poles, as they cannot qualify for the play-offs following their defeat to Ukraine on Friday night.

"I think Poland's tactics will be very similar to Montenegro," Gerrard continued. "They will want to defend well and make it difficult so we will have to show patience.

"But with the attacking players we've got it's only a matter of time before the breakthrough comes. We've got that confidence."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before