Montenegro v England: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admits Montenegro match is a 'pressure game'
Tuesday's opponents currently top the group
Monday 25 March 2013
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes England are capable of handling the hostile atmosphere that will confront them during tomorrow's crucial World Cup qualifier against Montenegro in Podgorica.
The Arsenal midfielder is in contention to start the game after impressing and being among the scorers during Friday's 8-0 away triumph over minnows San Marino.
Oxlade-Chamberlain knows the significance of the meeting with group leaders Montenegro who are currently two points ahead of England after Friday's 1-0 win in Moldova.
He said: "It is the key game, definitely. It is good to win every game but, with them being top of the group, it is even more important.
"You can't look too far into it because you then start getting distracted, and it puts added pressure onto you.
"We know what we've got to do, it's a pressure game but they are all pressure games for us.
"It will be hostile but if you look around this squad, the players have experienced hostile environments before at club and international level.
"It is a different challenge for us to overcome but, at the end of the day, it's a game of football and what goes on inside the white lines isn't to do with who is outside of them.
"We will speak about tactics before the game. If we can match them mentally and physically and approach the game in a right way, we've got a good chance."
Defender Chris Smalling is relishing the challenge as he looks to cement a place in the side after starting the last two matches against Brazil and San Marino.
The Manchester United player has recovered from the groin and foot injuries which checked his progress with club and country.
Smalling said: "I take each chance that I can get and the bigger the game, the better for me.
"I'll be ready if I'm selected on Tuesday.
"We see their results so we know it's going to be a close one and Tuesday is a massive game.
"Away games like this can be very intimidating and, if you get the crowd on side, it's like they got an extra man.
"If we stay level-headed and try to keep the crowd quiet, then it will be to our advantage.
"This is the big one of the season against a team which is arguably fighting for top spot with us."
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