European Qualifiers: San Marino manager Pierangelo Manzaroli looks to limit damage

Image: Pierangelo Manzaroli: San Marino boss ready for Wembley test

San Marino manager Pierangelo Manzaroli admits Thursday's European Qualifier against England at Wembley is an exercise in "damage limitation".

San Marino are ranked joint 208th with Bhutan at the bottom of the FIFA World Rankings and have never won a competitive fixture.

England are expected to inflict another heavy defeat on Manzaroli's team of part-timers in the Group E clash, having scored 26 goals and conceded one in the sides' last four meetings.

"It will have to be a big effort," Manzaroli said.

"Playing England is different for us because more often than not it is a matter of damage limitation.

It's going to be a difficult match and the main objective will be to come away without a heavy defeat.
Pierangelo Manzaroli

"But we don't rule anything out - you never know when the chance will arrive to get a result. It's going to be a difficult match and the main objective will be to come away without a heavy defeat.

"We also want to try to show what we can do and try to keep the match even for as long as possible."

More from England V San Marino

It has been suggested that struggling sides like San Marino should have to go through a play-off before reaching the qualification stage but Manzaroli disagrees.

"We want to carry on playing in the biggest and best stadiums in Europe and we think it is our right to do that," Manzaroli said.

"Every time we do, we show we are committed and we give our all so we want to carry on with that. If the international schedule is too dense and they want to take some matches away that is up to UEFA.

"But we are a member of UEFA and we think we have as much right as anyone else to play against the big teams."

San Marino, who have never conceded less than five goals against England, lost their opening Group E fixture 2-0 at home to Lithuania.

Manzaroli added: "It is not easy to start again after every defeat.

"We have shown, however, we always regroup, we never lose heart, we play with passion and perhaps we are a good example of healthy sporting principles in a world when business rules supreme."

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