England will deliver, says coach Roy Hodgson

Hodgson 'convinced' England will qualify

Roy Hodgson believes his England side "will deliver" World Cup qualification.

They face Montenegro on Friday knowing that a win, coupled with victory over Poland on Tuesday, would guarantee their place in Brazil next year.

England have 16 points, one more than Ukraine and Montenegro, who are second and third respectively in Group H.

"We realise England expects," Hodgson said. "They expect us to play well in these two games and to win them. I believe the players will deliver."

Hodgson, who succeeded Fabio Capello before Euro 2012, added: "It is a big responsibility when you take on the role of manager of an England team.

"We are England. We are one of the big nations and we are expected to qualify for World Cups and European Championships.

"You know that when you take on the job and you know that if that doesn't happen there will be a lot of criticism. If you're wise you will realise there will be a lot of criticism during the time you are qualifying."

The 66-year-old, who led Switzerland to the 1994 World Cup finals, said his team would "not look for excuses" if they failed to qualify for a World Cup for the first time in 20 years.

He added: "I don't think we've made excuses anyway. I would be saddened to think my time as national coach has been riddled with excuses. We've taken responsibility all along. We're not looking for excuses.

"We're looking to play the game. We're ready for it. We believe in ourselves, trust in each other, have the right determination and motivation."

Former England captain Alan Shearer believes that England do not deserve a spot in next year's tournament if they cannot defeat both Montenegro and Poland.

Shearer 'hopeful, but not confident'

"I'm hopeful but I'm not confident because I've not seen enough in the qualifiers that we've played to suggest that I can tell you how confident I am," the 43-year-old, who scored 30 international goals, told BBC Radio 5 live.

"We haven't played well in a number of games and got the right results. If we can't beat Montenegro at home and Poland at home then England don't deserve to qualify."

Former midfielder Chris Waddle, who was in the England squads for World Cup 1986 and 1990 and the 1988 European Championship, said Hodgson's men must win both games.

"Montenegro are a team we don't seem to beat," Waddle told BBC Sport.

"I think Ukraine will win their last two games. If we draw [against Montenegro] then we could come a cropper. Are we guaranteed to beat those two teams? No."

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