ESPN FC: England edge closer
England defender Ashley Cole has been ruled out of Tuesday’s crunch World Cup qualifier with Poland at Wembley.
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Everton left-back Leighton Baines is set to retain his place for the visit of Poland, which England must win to ensure they qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
Baines, speaking at a press conference on Sunday, said: “The manager feels that we can both do the job. He can call on either one of us. That's all that matters really, that the job gets done.”
Referring to the Montenegro game, he added: “You enjoy it a lot more when you know you are going to get a game. It was good to be able to prepare for the game in that frame of mind, really, rather than just waiting in the wings. It is great to be in and playing.”
Poland’s 1-0 defeat to Ukraine on Friday means they have no chance of qualifying for Brazil, but Baines is unsure what effect that will have.
“With Poland out of the equation, we don't know what to expect from them,” he said. “Poland have some big players, but we know if we are at our best we can get the result we need.”
He added: “We're focused on the game and it's nice to know safety net of play-offs is there, but hopefully it won't be needed. The magnitude of the game is something we are aware of. The job is half done so we have to finish it off on Tuesday.”
Roy Hodgson, who called up Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs as cover for Cole for the Montenegro match, had earlier drafted in Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling for the Poland game after Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley was ruled out.