Handanovic eyes England slumber
Slovenia keeper Samir Handanovic is hoping England's slumber continues as his country eye a historic scalp.
Last Updated: 20/06/10 12:41pm
Slovenia goalkeeper Samir Handanovic is hoping England's slumber continues as his country eye one of the greatest football scalps in history.
The Three Lions have been badly underperforming during the World Cup in South Africa and could be heading for an early exit if they fail to beat Slovenia on Wednesday.
Handanovic's team top the group after collecting a surprise four-point haul from their first two matches and the stopper is aware a famous victory could send Fabio Capello and his players tumbling out of Group C.
And as the man who will face England's misfiring strike force, Handanovic says he wants their rivals to continue their sleepwalk through the group phase.
He said in The People: "I hope England do not wake up against us because it will be terrific to add to our four points and stay in the World Cup.
"We know we will have a very hard match on Wednesday and, after the results on Friday, the tension in the group has really increased.
"England have some big names in their squad, but in their first two matches they showed they weren't superior to their rivals in the group. This is a positive for us."
The 25-year-old is aware his team must not let an advantage slip against the English, however, after allowing a two-goal lead against the USA to escape, he knows they can afford no such expense in Port Elizabeth.
He explained: "We are unhappy that we missed a big chance against the USA. In World Cups we should not lose matches when we had a two-goal advantage. "
Pressure will be on Wayne Rooney in the match to inspire his side after a turgid tournament so far, with the spotlight shone brighter given the striker's broadside at the England supporters on Friday night.
And the big keeper believes the form of Rooney could be the difference between Slovenia causing an almighty upset in progressing to the knockout stages.
He added: "Wayne Rooney is always dangerous but he does not seem to have got back to his best level after his injury. That is damaging the game for Fabio Capello's squad.
"This match against England is the most important in our football history. To eliminate England and to reach the following round would be incredible. Initially nobody believed in our chances and now we are the group leaders."