Visitors are running scared of their hosts, claims Montenegro boss.
Montenegro head coach Branko Brnovic has given a confident press conference ahead of his side’s crucial World Cup qualifier with England in Podgorica on Tuesday night.
The two nations clash with top spot in the standings up for grabs on the road to next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil, with the home side the current surprise group leaders at the halfway stage, two points ahead of Roy Hodgson’s men.
And, with victory over the Three Lions opening up a sizeable five-point advantage over the visitors, Brnovic has been attempting to crank up the pressure on Hodgson and Co by claiming that his opponents look scared and have already been making excuses for defeat on Tuesday.
“We have Stevan Jovetic and Mirko Vucinic. Maybe England are more scared of this game than we are,” he is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
Brnovic, the Montenegrin Mourinho as one journalist put it on twitter, may have a point.
His team are unbeaten in their previous eight fixtures, a run that has put them in the driving seat on the road to Rio next year.
England, by contrast, are stuttering at present, discounting, of course, the pointless exercise in San Marino on Friday and their previous outing against five-time world champions Brazil at Wembley, which they won 2-1. The clash with the Selecao was decent but it was a friendly and Tuesday night is the real business; one slip-up could prove crucial.
And lest anyone forget, these two nations have met twice before, during qualification for Euro 2012 when under previous head coach Fabio Capello both ties ended in a draw, 0-0 at Wembley and 2-2 in Montenegro.
So, yes perhaps Hodgson’s men are a little scared ahead of the contest, although perhaps a better word to describe their current mental state would be ‘apprehensive’ as opposed to ‘sacred’.
But, in actual fact, that should not be a bad thing. In fact, maybe Brnovic’s pre-match poking and prodding of England will rebound on him and his team, as one thing is absolutely sure going into the contest, there is no way the visitors will not be on their toes and fully alert facing Montenego on Tuesday.
And, England may be about to ask one or two questions of their own come kick-off time tomorrow, questions that could possibly scare their opponents.
Mind games hey, who would play them ….?