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England manager Roy Hodgson says there can be 'no excuses' in Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia in Tallinn


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Roy Hodgson confident that England can maintain 100 per cent record in Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, but says they cannot make excuses



Roy Hodgson said there would be "no excuses" if England failed to beat Estonia in Sunday's Euro 2016 qualification campaign.

England arrived in Tallinn late on Saturday afternoon after taking the unusual step – to Uefa's surprise – of not training on the pitch at the Le Coq Arena. Instead they trained at London Colney.

Hodgson took aside Raheem Sterling for a five-minute chat as he walked around the pitch – which the manager said was in good condition – fuelling speculation as to whether he was changing the role of the Liverpool player for the game or whether he was simply giving him instructions.

Sterling was substituted at half-time during the 5-0 victory over San Marino but is expected to be fit to face Estonia although Hodgson admitted that although his squad was "fit and ok" some players were carrying knocks.

The expectation is that Hodgson will revert to the team that beat Switzerland 2-0 in England's opening qualification tie in Basle which would mean Fabian Delph returning in place of James Milner. Delph did not train fully last week and did not feature against San Marino.

Hodgson said he will announce his team at a meeting with the players on Saturday evening. Of his chat with Sterling he said: "Of course with everyone watching I'm sure there will be speculation but I'm not going to fuel it in any way."

Of facing Estonia who, Hodgson said, have made huge strides in their football in recent years the manager added: "We will have no excuse. The one thing we can't say is 'I didn't know this or that because we have information about our opposition coming out of our ears.'"

England have had two scouts at each match that Estonia has played since the draw for Euro 2016 was made with Hodgson, of course, acknowledging they will be a step up from Thursday's game against San Marino. "This is a different game and a different level of opposition and an opposition capable of upsets and winning games," he said.

Estonia have beaten Slovenia – here in Tallinn – and lost away to Lithuania so far in this campaign.


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