Giggs out to avoid another bruising encounter


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The Independent Online

Great Britain's men's team will be hoping for a less rough ride than in their opening match when they meet the United Arab Emirates at Wembley today.

The players were upset by a number of wild challenges and some permissive refereeing in the 1-1 draw against Senegal, whose late equaliser brought a sense of anti-climax despite the presence of more than 70,000 spectators at Old Trafford.

"We're just going to take the positives," said the captain Ryan Giggs, who called some of Senegal's tackling "naughty", while Chelsea's full-back Ryan Bertrand said he had feared for his safety at times during the match.

The goalscorer Craig Bellamy and Swansea City's Joe Allen were among those who needed treatment but expect to be fit.

Stuart Pearce, Britain's coach, may nevertheless freshen up the side, as he has done regularly when in charge of England Under-21.

"You never finish a tournament with the same side you started with," he said. The UAE were impressive in a 2-1 defeat of Uruguay and took a deserved lead against the group favourites.

Giggs said: "It's going to be tough because UAE played some good stuff but we are going to have to improve if we are going to get through the group. We'll definitely have to win one of our next two games to have any chance of getting through.

"We need a win for confidence more than anything else and that would obviously set us up going into Uruguay." Britain need to finish in the top two in the group to qualify for the quarter-finals.

The England manager Roy Hodgson is expected to attend the UAE match, which will provide an incentive for the English majority in the team, as he prepares to name a squad in a fortnight's time for the friendly game against Italy on 15 August.

The match will be England's first since their Euro 2012 quarter-final exit at the hands of the Italians and will be used as preparation for the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign starting in September.