Koren and Slovenia target last 16

  • By: Jamie Gardner, Press Association Sport, Johannesburg
  • Last Updated: June 22 2010, 8:09 BST

Slovenia captain Robert Koren insists his team still believe they can attain their pre-tournament goal of reaching the last 16 of the World Cup - even if they have to eliminate England to do it.

Robert Koren - says Slovenia can make last 16.

Koren and co were eight minutes away from securing a place in the knockout phase when Michael Bradley's goal for the United States meant they took one point from their second Group C game instead of three.

One point will do nicely against England in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, while that result would probably send England home early.

Slovenia's qualification play-off victory over Russia is testament to their ability to cause an upset and Koren sees no reason why they cannot spring a surprise against England.

"It was a big achievement for the country to come to the World Cup but now everybody wants to improve," the former West Brom midfielder said.

"When we arrived in South Africa we said we wanted to go through the group stage and we are full of confidence that we can. We already expected before the tournament to go through the group stage, and this is still the same.

"We all know that England is a really good team with big players in their squad, but we are not thinking too much about England - we will concentrate on ourselves and the way we want to play," he said.

"The first game, England versus the USA, England played OK, we saw some good things and bad things, and it was the same in the second game against Algeria. England didn't show the football we expected, but we all need to know that England will be ready."

Central defender Marko Suler is still suffering with a rib injury sustained in the game against the USA and is set to be replaced by Matej Mavric, while Nejc Pecnik, who featured as a substitute against the Americans, has been flown home for treatment on an ankle injury which is expected to sideline him for three months.