Hodgson focuses on the present

  • Last Updated: October 16 2012, 6:30 BST

Roy Hodgson insists England's past meetings with Poland will have no bearing on this evening's meeting in a World Cup qualifier in Warsaw.

Hodgson: Working for today and tomorrow

Some of England's previous battles with the Poles have provided moments of inspiration and despair.

Gary Lineker and Paul Scholes both hit hat-tricks in the fixture - in 1986 and 1999 respectively. But Alan Ball was sent off in Chorzow when England lost to Poland for the only time in 1973.

Then keeper Jan Tomaszewski's sensational performance at Wembley signalled the end of England's hopes of reaching the 1974 World Cup.

Hodgson respects past battles but is more focused on securing the victory which would put England in pole position in their group.

He said: "The match with the goalkeeper (Tomaszewski) at Wembley was a bitter moment.

"But the fact is, whilst I don't ever dismiss history, the bottom line is we are working for today and tomorrow.

"It's about what we're trying to build. A knowledge of history gives you some perspective - but it doesn't help you win a football match."

Hodgson is aware of the task that will confront England this evening compared to the 5-0 stroll to victory over San Marino on Friday.

"England have always been a scalp. Even San Marino were ultra-defensive against us and just tried to keep the score down," he said.

"Poland will be rubbing their hands with glee at this game.

"We will face a highly motivated team with a very vocal and enthusiastic support because, if they can win it, it's a real feather in their cap."

Hodgson is also braced for the inevitable criticism should England slip up.

He said: "People judge you when they want to judge you. I've always, as a manager or coach, been under the impression every time your team play people will have opinions about how they have done or the way you've set it out.

"I'm more than happy with the response I've had from the players so far. They've committed 100 per cent to what we're trying to do.

"It's for others to decide whether that's good enough or not. I'm fully aware when defeats come criticism will be levelled against me and the team."

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