Belfast Telegraph

Roy Hodgson has England players prepared for hostility

By Paul Hirst

Roy Hodgson is taking heart from England's victory over Scotland at Wembley last year, but has admitted they are in for a tougher mental test when the teams meet again in Glasgow tonight.

Hodgson's men triumphed 3-2 over the Auld Enemy at Wembley last August, with Rickie Lambert scoring the winner and Scotland will be out for revenge.

They will be backed by a partisan home crowd at Celtic Park and Hodgson hopes that will not prove to be a distraction for his side.

"The fans here, they'll certainly give Celtic and Scotland incredible support and that's something we'll have to deal with in terms of not letting it affect us too badly mentally," said Hodgson.

"For some of our younger players they won't necessarily have experienced that type of atmosphere in their careers."

Yet England's success last year, when the Three Lions twice came from behind before going on to win, is a big encouragement for Hodgson.

When asked which fixture between the two nations stood out in his mind, he replied: "The one that we played last year at Wembley. It was an excellent game, very, very close, very well-fought and incredible atmosphere because a lot of Scottish fans had travelled down to Wembley for the game.

"It's a very exciting game, it's a big game. We know we'll be given a very tough test up here and we know that Scotland will be very keen to win the game and I'm certainly hoping that we have the same degree of hope and expectation from our side."

England captain Wayne Rooney echoed his manager's sentiments, revealing he has had conversations with inexperienced members of the squad to warn them of what is likely to be a hostile atmosphere.

"I think it'll be a great test. I've played here in big nights in Champions League. The atmosphere is really loud and it will be intense," he said.

"I've actually spoken to a few of the younger players, just to make sure they're ready for the start of the game because if you're not ready it can take you by surprise.

"I'm sure we'll be ready for the atmosphere and it will be a big test for us."

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