England will not settle for draw against Montenegro insists Gary Neville

Sides meet in World Cup qualifier later this month

Gary Neville insists England will not adopt the Italian mentality of grinding out a draw when they head to Montenegro later this month.

Manager Roy Hodgson is due to unveil his squad tomorrow for a World Cup double-header with San Marino and Montenegro, which will do so much to shape England's hopes of reaching Brazil.

The major focus will be on whether Rio Ferdinand gets a recall given Phil Jagielka has been ruled out with an ankle injury, Joleon Lescott has started just one game of the last four for Manchester City, Chris Smalling was reduced to Under-21 duty at Manchester United on Monday and Gary Cahill has been struggling for form at Chelsea.

It would represent a major climbdown for Hodgson to select Ferdinand, having continually given the impression he wanted to "move on" from the 34-year-old.

Nevertheless, the obvious alternatives, Tottenham duo Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker, lack Ferdinand's experience, which could be vital in Podgorica against a dangerous Montenegro outfit that represent the greatest danger to England's hopes of automatic qualification.

Although they presently trail Montenegro in Group H, a draw would represent a positive return given the fixtures which remain.

But speaking on his return to old club Bury Juniors FC as part of the FA Community Awards 2013 presented by McDonald's, nominations for which can now be made at http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/kickstart, Neville ruled that attitude out.

"I have never looked at any game, either for Manchester United or England, and said I will play for a draw - and I never will," said Neville, who was appointed as Hodgson's assistant prior to Euro 2012.

"That is not the English mentality. We are not Italians, who can grind things out and be cagey for an entire game.

"We want to be on the front foot. Our mentality must always be to try and win."

If Hodgson's reasoning behind whatever decision he makes with Ferdinand will be first on the agenda when he faces the media tomorrow following the squad announcement, Wayne Rooney's name will not be far behind.

Left out of Sir Alex Ferguson's starting line-up for Manchester United's Champions League defeat by Real Madrid last week, the 27-year-old was recalled for the FA Cup draw with Chelsea, when he also scored his 15th goal of the season.

In between, Ferguson was vehement in his claim that Rooney would not be leaving Old Trafford at the end of the season.

And Neville does not believe he will either.

"Manchester United is the most incredible football club. There is always a fall-out when something goes wrong," he said.

"It is never just normal when they go out of Europe. There is always something big.

"It is only when you are on the outside you see how big the club is and the exaggeration that surrounds it.

"Wayne Rooney gets left out of one match and all of a sudden he is out of the club and people are pointing back to all sorts of historic occasions.

"I take the manager at his word. Why would Wayne Rooney want to leave? He is a big player for everybody and both of them seem to fit each other."

Scrutiny would have been on Rooney anyway given it was in the Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro that he got himself needlessly sent off, eventually causing him to miss the first two matches of the finals, which many felt contributed to another below-par performance at a major tournament.

The stakes are not quite as high this time, although should England get beaten they will be five points behind and realistically condemned to searching for a route to Brazil via the play-offs.

Neville accepts getting any kind of result will not be easy but, from personal experience, he knows the best way of trying to get it.

"I have watched a lot of Montenegro's games in the last couple of months and it will be a hostile atmosphere, as it always is in eastern Europe," said Neville.

"It never changes. They are really passionate about their countries. You are talking about countries who have had hostilities around there for 20-odd years. You can feel the passion. There is a fighting spirit amongst them.

"It will be the same in Montenegro.

"You have to handle the atmosphere in any away ground. It is the first thing you say; let's kill the crowd. Keep the ball and get a goal."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible