After a dreary draw against Ireland in which England was practically booed off the pitch, Roy Hodgson is desperate for a win today.
The Three Lions are in Ljubljana to take on Slovenia in Group E for EURO 2016 qualifiers.
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Despite being at the top of the group with a perfect record of five wins through five matches, the England boss knows how important getting a result is to get things back on track.
Slovenia is tied with Switzerland for second place in the group, so Hodgson knows they will throw everything at the Three Lions at Stozice Stadium today.
We are concentrating on breaking them down, scoring goals and – if I’m brutally honest – winning.
I’d take a show or a lucky victory. At the end of the day winning or not getting beaten are the important factors.
Speaking on England’s scoreless draw in Dublin, which drew high criticism from the media despite being a friendly:
These things do happen. Did I enjoy the game? No. Did I think we played well? No. Did the players? No.
But it’s one of 1,300 games for me and one of 600 for Wayne Rooney. We will benefit from that game. We probably needed it, a lot more than I realised perhaps.
That break between the end of the season and the Republic game coming was very useful for us.
Maybe we’d have given the wrong performance in the important game if we’d not had that game and just trained on. I’m sorry – but we’ll try to do better next time.”
The biggest storyline heading into England’s match against Slovenia revolves around Raheem Sterling, whose poor play against Ireland and ongoing contract saga with Liverpool have made him one of the most polarizing figures on Hodgson’s squad.
Liverpool recently turned down a $40 million offer for Sterling from Manchester City, but his play as of late could see the 20-year-old relegated to the bench against Slovenia.