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Hodgson won't take Moldova lightly
Roy Hodgson has warned England not to expect an easy start to their World Cup qualifying campaign against Moldova on Friday evening.
The Moldovan players are set to earn a sizeable cash bonus from their employees if they can cause an upset by holding England to a draw. But, even without those financial incentives, Hodgson knows England can ill afford to be complacent against a side who twice lost by only a single goal to Holland in the 2012 World Cup qualifiers.
He said: "You know if you don't prepare for a tough game or an opponent that is going to be well organised and disciplined in defence, then you are not preparing for the game properly. We are aware of that and this is a team capable of playing well and causing problems so we won't under-estimate them."
He added: "We are well aware that a very strong Holland team only won here 1-0 and at home only won 1-0 as well. The Moldovans' bonus system will have to be their bonus system. We have our own fish to fry and we want to try and win the game."
Hodgson is glad to have started his role in time to lead England into Euro 2012 even though he had little time to prepare for the tournament.
He is excited about the blend of youth and experience he feels is starting to gel together.
Hodgson said: "It was a good time for me to start with a tournament even though it wasn't an easy time. It was good for me because I feel much more confident knowing about players going into these first qualifiers than I would have done had I been employed after the tournament and this would have been the first squad I selected.
"I'm really positive at the moment that we have a group of players who will balance youth and experience."
The former West Brom boss is also confident England can deal with a less than perfect surface to perform on tomorrow evening.
He said: "I have a very experienced group of players and they will have played on many pitches in many places around the world and I don't envisage any particular problems there."