We’ll up game in Slovenia – Lallana


Published: Monday 8th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Adam Lallana is sure England fans will not be subjected to another dour performance when they travel to Slovenia on Sunday.

Lallana and his England team-mates flew home on Sunday night and awoke to a rather grim assessment of their performance in the 0-0 draw against the Republic of Ireland.

England mustered just three attempts on target against the Irish and it was hard to pick one player out who performed anywhere near his best.

Lallana admits England struggled to find any rhythm in Dublin, mainly because most of the squad had not played a competitive match in two weeks.

But the Liverpool midfielder thinks the team will be back to their best come next weekend, when they round off the season with a European Championship qualifier in Ljubljana.

“It is strange to have that amount of time off and then prepare for a game,” Lallana said.

“But I am sure the cobwebs are well and truly blown off and we can focus on Slovenia.

“We know we can play better than we did and I am sure we will be working very hard during the week on improving the elements that we were not so good at.

“We have a good mentality in the team and we will be looking to go to Slovenia and get the three points.”

Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson is expected to make changes for Sunday’s game.

Theo Walcott and Andros Townsend added a bit of dynamism to England’s play when they came off the bench, so Lallana could find himself out of the line-up, and Hodgson may decide to pull Raheem Sterling out of the firing line after admitting the Liverpool forward needs to grow “thicker skin” to deal with the flak that has come his way following his contract dispute.

It was clear that Hodgson was not impressed by what he saw in Ireland.

“It gave me a chance to look at a few players who haven’t had much chance to play recently, either from the start or off the bench – that’s always a positive,” the England manager said. “But, with the high standards we set ourselves, we can’t say we were particularly satisfied with the game.”

Hodgson was particularly disappointed to see England players brushed off the ball with ease in Dublin.

“I don’t think we were anywhere near good enough in our individual duels,” he said.

“I thought we lost far too many of those.

“I thought that organisation-wise, the work-rate of the players was good, we filled the right spaces and it is always good to have a clean sheet, but we must set ourselves higher standards.”

Hodgson gave the players two days off after they returned to England.

They will reconvene on Wednesday to start preparations for the qualifier in Slovenia.

England will move nine points clear at the top of Group E if they beat Slovenia, who are 48th in the FIFA rankings.

Should England avoid defeat, they will end the season unbeaten for the first time in 24 years.

Published: Monday 8th June 2015 by The News Editor

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