Football

McClaren warns England against hostile Montenegro reception

McClaren optimistic about England's chances (©GettyImages)
McClaren optimistic about England's chances (©GettyImages).

Former England boss Steve McClaren has warned the Three Lions that they should expect a hostile atmosphere when playing in Montenegro tonight.

McClaren has been out of work since leaving FC Twente in February, and has admitted that England will have to produce a stellar performance if they are to leave Podgorica with three points in their World Cup qualifying group.

"The atmosphere is electric and England will have to deal with the noise generated by the home fans. They are very proud people and that passion feeds into the team,” he told Yahoo! in a press release sent to GiveMeFootball.

"These kinds of teams a very dangerous because technically and tactically they are very good. When you have that sort of passion, fight and togetherness, on the day it could be very difficult for England.

"It will be difficult to score, but I think they are capable of doing that, providing they can deal with the intimidation on and off the field."

With Montenegro leading the group by two points over England, avoiding defeat is crucial if Roy Hodgson's men want to book a place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil without going through the unpredictable play-off system.

McClaren is also wary of the home side's frontmen, with Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic and Juventus' Mario Vucinic coming into the game with proven European pedigree. The pair will be the Montenegrin's main threats.

However, the former England boss is confident that the much-maligned Three Lions defence will have enough quality to  help the side come away with three vital points.

"They've got two strikers who are very dangerous. Vucinic I've seen at Juventus, he does nothing in a game and then suddenly the ball will break and he'll come to life and score a goal," he added.

"Lose concentration for a split second and Montenegro could score a goal.

"Of course they (England) can win the game, without a shadow of doubt and they're capable of doing that."

McClaren also revealed that he feels expectations have changed since he was in charge, and that tonight's game will be 'defining' for current boss Hodgson.

The former Middlesbrough boss was in charge of the national team for less than 24 months, and failed to guide the country to Euro 2008.

"I have noticed a significant shift in the attitude of the media and even when I talk to supporters you can see that the expectations of the England football team are more realistic now,” he concluded.

"The Montenegro game is a big game, it's a defining game for Roy and the team. "

For more insight from Steve McClaren and other leading managers plus exclusive Premier League highlights go to: www.yahoo.co.uk/sport

 

Topics:
Internationals
Football
World Cup

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