Kranjcar attacks English attitude

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The Independent Football

Niko Kranjcar, who helped destroy England's chances of appearing in Euro 2008, believes the national team paid the price for failing to show respect to the smaller teams in their group.

The midfielder will again face Scott Carson when Portsmouth visit Aston Villa today, a fortnight after he embarrassed the goalkeeper with the opening goal in Croatia's 3-2 win at Wembley which ended England's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008 hopes.

He said: "You have to show respect to every team. I think that is the difference between Croatia and England. And after the comments some of the England players made after the World Cup draw [last week] I don't think they showed a lot of respect for Ukraine, Belarus or even Croatia.

"They said they thought they had an easy group but after what happened to them against Croatia maybe it is not a good way to think. We know how difficult it will be to go to places like Belarus and Ukraine in, say, November. So these are matches you cannot always expect to win."

Asked if England had learned their lesson, Kranjcar said: "We will see. With the players they have, England should be in the top group but they didn't show it in the European qualifiers.

"Their performances did not deserve to go on to the finals. They just needed a point against Russia and then a point against Croatia, which is not much, but they didn't get it."