Estonia vs England: Estonia's Swedish manager Magnus Pehrsson holds high praise for Roy Hodgson but Estonia taste an upset

Pehrsson knows Hodgson from his time managing in Sweden, but his only experience of English football is telling Chris Waddle he was taking a free-kick for Bradford

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The Independent Online

Estonia’s Swedish manager Magnus Pehrsson said on Saturday that his abiding memory of English football was playing alongside Chris Waddle in midfield for Bradford City – in the only game that he featured for the team.

Pehrsson, now 38, whose team face England in their Euro 2016 qualifier in Tallinn tonight, played on loan at Bradford in 1996 at the end of the Swedish league season starting one game against Oldham Athletic which ended in a 3-0 defeat. His manager at the time was Chris Kamara but Pehrsson’s abiding memory was Waddle deferring to him when the team won a free kick.

Pehrsson said: “The biggest memory was that I got to play with Chris Waddle in midfield. He was a bit older but he was a terrific player. One memory was that we got this dangerous free-kick situation and I was confident enough to tell him I should take it and he said ‘Go on then son’. I kicked it 10 metres over and he did the this field-goal sign.”

He added: “Roy Hodgson is rated highly in Sweden. I was too young [when Hodgson worked there] to be a professional player. I met him a few times. We worked on TV a few times. Everything I have to say is positive as a person. Also, he influenced the coaches in Sweden a lot. He was a good instructor, hands-on and that was different to the way Swedish coaches were used to working.”

The Estonia midfielder Henrik Ojamaa, who plays on loan for Motherwell in Scotland, says that his team is capable of an upset against England. They lost to Lithuania on Thursday night having beaten Slovenia in their first Group E match. Last year they were close to beating the Netherlands in Tallinn, only being denied a victory by a late Robin Van Persie equaliser from the penalty spot to make the score 2-2.

Ojamaa said: “People will say from the outside and say we have no chance, but look at Costa Rica at the World Cup. The wages [of the big name players] doesn’t count for everything. If we want it more than them, that counts for something as well.”

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