Hughes relishes hostile reception

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The Wales coach, Mark Hughes, is ready to face up to the most daunting challenge of his short career in the hot seat here tonight when Wales meet Poland in a World Cup Group Five qualifier.

The Wales coach, Mark Hughes, is ready to face up to the most daunting challenge of his short career in the hot seat here tonight when Wales meet Poland in a World Cup Group Five qualifier.

The Polish FA are playing down fears of hooliganism at the Legia Warsaw Stadium after police had to fire rubber bullets over the heads of rioting fans in Lodz on Saturday to break up fights after Poland's 3-1 victory over Belarus.

But Hughes, who scored for United in their 1991 European Cup-Winners' Cup semi-final victory over Legia Warsaw on his last visit here, believes that his charges will be motivated by the intimidating atmosphere.

"Hostile environments should inspire you, and we have a lot of players who are not the opposition crowds' favourite players back home," he said. "People like Robbie Savage, Ryan Giggs and the like, so they are used to all the intimidation and flak that goes around. That won't be a problem for them."

Hughes will have a near full complement for the battle with Nathan Blake, whose fine header gave Wales a point in their draw with the Netherlands on Saturday, the only injury doubt. Blake picked up a thigh strain in the Cardiff match, and has not trained since.

Wales (probable): Jones (Southampton), Delaney (Villa), Melville (Fulham), Coleman (Fulham), G Roberts (Tranmere), Savage (Leicester), Speed (Newcastle), Robinson (Charlton), Giggs (Man Utd), Jones (Leeds), Hartson (Wimbledon).

Comments