Wasilewski seeks England breakthrough

Captain Marcin Wasilewski has challenged Poland to use their World Cup qualifier with England as a "breakthrough match".

Group hug....

Wasilewski admits the Polish players could not be more motivated for the Group H clash in Warsaw.

They will be striving to improve on a record of only one win in 17 matches against England and regain their pride after failing to qualify from their group during the European Championship over the summer.

Wasilewski said: "Can this game make up for Euros? I think such a match is very much needed, especially against such an opponent as England.

"We are all aware of the high quality of the opponent but a few years ago we had a similar meeting with Portugal when everyone thought we would lose.

"We won and after that our faith grew and the faith of our fans increased tremendously and helped us advance into the European Championship finals.

"I also hope this will also be a breakthrough match for Poland."

Wasilewski senses the determination of coach Waldemar Fornalik's squad to cause an upset.

He said: "We are all extremely motivated. You will be able to see it tomorrow [Tuesday] on the pitch.

"I do not have a speech prepared. When I look at the other guys, I see they are so highly motivated.

"I don't think they need any extra motivation from me. In fact, it might be to the contrary.

"Maybe I should try and stifle this enthusiasm."

Wasilewski knows that Poland have to try and find a way to contain Wayne Rooney, who became England's fifth highest scorer with 31 goals after his double in Friday's 5-0 win over San Marino.

He said: "Wayne Rooney is a wonderful striker. He has proved it in every match in the Premier League.

"World class defenders have difficulty controlling it so it is going to be difficult but we will wait and see."

Fornalik brushed aside concerns over the quality of the pitch in the National Stadium.

He said: "There may be situations quite unpredictable. The ball can perhaps bounce off the surface a bit differently.

"But the conditions will be identical for both teams and something they will have to cope with.

"The grass is the way it is and the organisers will do all they can to make sure the pitch is at the best quality possible."

Poland have beaten England once in 17 attempts - in 1973 - but Fornalik senses a confidence amongst his players that they can cause an upset.

He said: "The European Championships were a big event on a global scale but this match is also a big event. England games have always been seen as extremely important and that is how we see this match.

"We are aware of the high class of our opponent but we also know what we are worth. It is difficult to measure how big this confidence is. I'm sure it is big and strong.

"The knowledge is already there about the two teams and the tactics are already predictable too so it is going to be difficult to surprise anyone.

"It is all going to be down to how the teams perform and feel on the way. But we have people who are convinced about what they are doing."

Fornalik added: "It is not enough to say we must win. Words are not enough for me. We can motivate but the thing is to go out there and do the business on the pitch. There is a sense of believing in what we do."



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