Montenegro 1-1 England: Montenegro start timidly but introduce attackers effectively

“Branko Brnovic surprisingly started with a lone forward, but ended up with four outright attackers as Montenegro deservedly claimed a point. Brnovic’s selection was hampered by injuries and suspensions – Miodrag Dzudovic, Mitar Novakovic and Simon Vukcevic all came into the side. Roy Hodgson made significant changes from the side that comfortably defeated San Marino on Friday evening, with Danny Welbeck, Steven Gerrard, Michael Carrick, James Milner, Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson returning. A game of two halves – England dominated against an oddly passive Montenegro, but were unable to deal with the increased attacking threat after half-time.” Zonal Marking

England manager Roy Hodgson needs to wake up to some harsh realities as spectre of World Cup play-offs looms
” England are in a dark place, a potentially damaging and hugely expensive place. They trail to bullish Montenegro in the race for automatic qualification, face the possibility of a play-off against France and risk losing out on the 2014 Brazilian bonanza of £26m to the FA and £100m to the nation’s economy. Hodgson is confident of overtaking Montenegro, who lead Group H by two points, but the spectre of the play-offs should really focus his thoughts sharply. November’s two-legged examination of psychological, tactical and technical strengths must be avoided. Hodgson needs to stop clutching at draws and start winning, instilling a more assertive culture in his players and his own response to difficulties.” Telegraph – Henry Winter


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