Tuesday, 15 October 2013

ENGLAD Football : Leighton Baines urges caution ahead of Poland World Cup qualifier

England football squad member Leighton Baines speak to journalists near Watford, England, on October 13, 2013
Leighton Baines has urged caution ahead of England's final World Cup qualifier against Poland -- despite Tuesday's opponents at Wembley being unable to qualify for Brazil 2014.
The Everton left-back is set to win his 21st cap against Poland, with Chelsea's Ashley Cole again ruled out with a rib injury.
Baines played in England's thumping 4-1 win over Montenegro at Wembley on Friday, a result that left them needing to defeat Poland to be certain of a place at next year's finals.
But although that victory was a huge confidence booster for Roy Hodgson's side, Baines insisted England would take nothing for granted against the Poles.
"We're not sure how Poland will approach the game now they are out of the equation," Baines told reporters at England's hotel in Watford, north of London, on Sunday.
"They have some big players, but we're just thinking about ourselves and know if we are at our best we can get the result we need.
"We're looking forward to the game. We have to just concentrate on what we have to do. Poland are a good side and we are aware of the rewards at the end and it is a massive incentive for us," he added.
If Hodgson's side were to slip up, then they would most likely enter the play-offs given Ukraine, currently second in European qualifying zone Group H, are widely expected to defeat minnows San Marino on Tuesday.
With just one point separating England and Ukraine, a draw against Poland is unlikely to see the group leaders qualify automatically.
"It's always nice to know that is there (the play-offs)," the 28-year-old Baines said. "It's not lose and bust, but it is not something we are thinking about. We are at home and we know we are capable of going out there and beating top sides.
"The magnitude of the game is something we are all aware of. On Friday we had to make sure it was in our own hands and we have to go and finish the job now."
Hodgson was boosted by the performance of Tottenham's Andros Townsend as they breezed past Montenegro.
The winger capped an impressive England debut with a well-taken goal and Baines said: "It was a great performance from Andros and a massive lift for us.
"It was great for him to score that goal and he is now an important part of the squad who can produce match-winning performances.
"When he is in that kind of form he is very difficult to stop in his tracks. It was great to see him come in and do so well.
"You need someone who can produce a bit of brilliance and he can run with the ball, beat players and that's what he did all night and I am sure if we didn't have him on the pitch it would have been a tougher task.
"With the emergence of some of the younger players we have that fresh blood and excitement -- combined with the experience of other players -- that mix and blend puts us in a great position to go there and try and do something.
"For me there is a significance with every cap you get and you grow into it more and more. It has been good to be involved in more qualifiers in this campaign.
"I'm pleased with how things are going at the moment and it was great to play on Friday and get the win."

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