England v Poland: Steven Gerrard backs England fans to drown out 20,000 Poles at Wembley
The Football Association have increased Polish fans' ticket allocation for the World Cup qualifier at Wemebley but Gerrard feels it will only add to the atmosphere
Tuesday 15 October 2013
Steven Gerrard expects England fans to be much louder than their Polish counterparts at Wembley on Tuesday night despite the Football Association's decision to double the away ticket allocation.
The FA drew criticism when they revealed that they had sold 18,000 tickets to Poland fans for the World Cup qualifier.
The number is more than double the minimum required under Fifa regulations for the 90,000 capacity stadium, but the FA insists it had to do so on health and safety grounds.
With so much riding on the must-win game, some questioned the wisdom of giving the Poles a bigger voice at Wembley, but Gerrard has no concerns.
"Players want to play in good atmospheres, they want to play in full houses," the England captain said.
"And I have no doubt that the England fans will make an awful lot more noise than the Poland fans.
"If our fans match the noise levels from Montenegro, we'll take that.
"The atmosphere was really good. They showed great patience, after 30 minutes at 0-0 or at half-time, but they stayed with us.
"When we got the breakthrough the roof came off. We are hoping for more of the same. 70,000 to 20,000, I would take that all day."
With so many Polish migrants now living in Britain, the FA decided that if it did not increase the number of away tickets available, Poles would buy tickets in the home end.
Manager Hodgson defended the decision and said he was sure England fans would be heard during the match, which the home side need to win to qualify for the World Cup.
"I presume it will give (Poland) a lift, but there are a lot of Polish people living in this country and I understand the FA were virtually forced into this decision," Hodgson said.
"They had to let the Polish FA have the tickets because otherwise there would be safety problems with the infiltration of Polish fans amongst the England fans.
"Our players are pretty used to playing in games where the opponents have good support.
"We will have 65,000 or 70,000 fans there and that, vis-a-vis 20,000 (Poland fans) is a pretty good margin for us. If our fans get behind us like they have so far then I don't fear that."
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