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Hodgson: History means nothing against Poland

England manager Roy Hodgson. Photo credit: Stephen Pond/EMPICS England manager Roy Hodgson. Photo credit: Stephen Pond/EMPICS

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
8:02 AM

Roy Hodgson is not interested in England’s record against Poland when they go head to head in their World Cup qualifier in Warsaw tonight.

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Some of England’s previous battles with the Poles have provided moments of inspiration and despair.

Gary Lineker and Paul Scholes both hit hat-tricks in the fixture - in 1986 and 1999 respectively. But Alan Ball was sent off in Chorzow when England lost to Poland for the only time in 1973.

Then keeper Jan Tomaszewski’s sensational performance at Wembley signalled the end of England’s hopes of reaching the 1974 World Cup.

Hodgson respects past battles but is more focused on securing the victory which would put England in pole position in their group.

He said: “The match with the goalkeeper (Tomaszewski) at Wembley was a bitter moment.

“But the fact is, whilst I don’t ever dismiss history, the bottom line is we are working for today and tomorrow.

“It’s about what we’re trying to build. A knowledge of history gives you some perspective - but it doesn’t help you win a football match.”

Hodgson is aware of the task that will confront England this evening compared to the 5-0 stroll to victory over San Marino on Friday.

“England have always been a scalp. Even San Marino were ultra-defensive against us and just tried to keep the score down,” he said.

“Poland will be rubbing their hands with glee at this game.

“We will face a highly motivated team with a very vocal and enthusiastic support because, if they can win it, it’s a real feather in their cap.”

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