Hodgson: England need to ‘watch out’ for ‘tough’ Slovakia

Date published: Monday 20th June 2016 8:19

Roy Hodgson: Taking Slovakia seriously

Roy Hodgson is wary of the threat that Slovakia will pose as England gear up for their final game in Group B, looking to finish in top spot.

England head into their final clash knowing that a win or potentially a draw will be enough to head through to the knockout phase as group winners.

But while the odds are stacked in the Three Lions’ favour, Hodgson is taking nothing for granted against an opponent who can still seal automatic qualification themselves.

“There are lots of players in the Slovakian team we need to watch out for,” Hodgson said in the pre-match media conference.

“They were flying in the qualification group and looked as if they were going to go through without losing a game.

“Wayne [Rooney] and his team-mates have been introduced to the Slovakian team. We’ve given them an idea of what they think the team will be. They have four very good attacking players.

“I know [Martin] Skrtel well from my time at Liverpool. They’re going to be another tough opponent for us. They’ll be trying to beat us too, that’s the beauty of football, it makes for a good game.”

England will face a third-placed team if they win the group, but Hodgson insisted that the team’s next venue is not an issue despite ongoing concerns about the state of the pitches.

“The important thing is to be there,” he said. “We would like to win the group. If that means Paris that’s good. All the venues are fine.

“We don’t want to win it because it’s Paris, we want to win the group to see us playing against a third-placed team.”

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