World Cup: England boss Roy Hodgson braced for 'cup final' against Ukraine
England boss Roy Hodgson says Tuesday's crunch World Cup qualifier in Ukraine will be like a cup final.
Last Updated: 09/09/13 6:42pm
Hodgson's men travel to Kiev leading Group H on goal difference and ahead of Ukraine by a point but, with Poland and San Marino to come, a win for the hosts would put them in the box seat for Brazil.
England, by contrast, finish their qualifying campaign with testing home games against Montenegro and Poland and are desperate to avoid the runners-up spot that would see them slip into the play-offs.
"It is two teams, two good teams in the group, both of which are capable of winning the group, so it's a cup final in that respect and you have to play well enough to win that game," Hodgson told reporters at his pre-match press conference on Monday.
"You don't necessarily win games by being cautious and hoping you don't concede, you win games by getting onto the front foot and making certain you score more goals than the opposition.
"We don't have any qualms about the task ahead of us or what we need to do, we're fully aware of what we need to do to get a result and the players are confident that they can produce that performance."
Hodgson has confirmed he will make only one change to the side that beat Moldova 4-0 at Wembley on Friday night - a replacement for Danny Welbeck, who misses out through suspension.
That means Kyle Walker will start, despite a furore that has followed the publication of pictures showing him inhaling legal high nitrous oxide - laughing gas - from a balloon.
"He has made his apology, admitted his mistake but it was a long time ago, he'd forgotten it," Hodgson said of the incident, which happened during the close season.
"It would have been much worse had it happened this weekend."