Gareth Southgate takes his England side to San Marino today knowing that they are expected to return a mammoth amount of goals in tomorrow’s fixture.
San Marino’s results have not been as bad as one might think so far this qualifying campaign.
They won their first ever fixture at under 21 level last month as they beat Wales by a single goal so Southgate is wary of the test that lays ahead: “They haven’t been thumped by anyone in this campaign and they beat Wales last month,” he told thefa.com.
“Our first team went there this year and were very professional and we need to be the same.
“So it’s more an approach of how we deal with facing five at the back and four in front of them and making it tough for us to break them down.
“And then we have to make sure that our concentration is right defensively, so we don’t get hurt at the other end.
“Any team in any given game can score a goal against you, but can we go and score early on and put a marker down.”
Ravel Morrison is poised to play for Southgate’s side after he makes his return to an England squad for the first time since 2010.
“I was always very aware of Ravel coming through the England junior teams and I’ve spoken to Sam Allardyce at length about his progress,” explained Southgate.
“It’s just great to see a young lad enjoying himself and I loved his comments this week when he said that he’d been reading lots of good things about himself and that must be great for him.
“Young people make such massive leaps and progression at this age and he’s clearly doing that at the moment.
“There are lots of good people at West Ham that have got him in a good place and I think it’s now for us to create an environment for him here where he can express himself and feel comfortable and able to trust the people that are around him.”
England beat Moldova but could only manage a draw against Finland last month. Their next test after San Marino is against Lithuania on Tuesday at Portman Road.