West Bromwich Albion star relishing Three Lions clash at the World Cup
By Matthew Weiner
Slovenia and West Bromwich Albion star Robert Koren is dreaming of a win against England at the World Cup this summer.
The midfielder, currently fighting for promotion to the Premier League with the Baggies, believes that his nation are under-rated and will prove a surprise in South Africa.
“If we get three points against England then for half of the country it will mean we are world champions already,” he said speaking exclusively to Goal.com UK.
“We already showed in our recent friendly that we can cope with England and at the World Cup we will be even more prepared. Everybody expects England to beat us easily but we will give them a really good game. England have great players and a good squad so it’s normal that they think they’re already through but every game starts 0-0.
“I think the fact that people underrate us as a team will give us an extra edge. We are ready to give all the teams a good match. We already beat Russia in the play-offs so we’ve shown the world that we are good.”
When asked who he thought would be England’s main man, Koren naturally picked out Wayne Rooney based on his current form but insisted that Slovenia wouldn’t focus on a single player but the whole team.
“We’re more concerned about our own game,” he said. “We won’t change our style to suit other teams. We always play the same way. Defensively, we’ll stay compact and offensively we’ll try to keep the ball down and pass it around so we can make chances.”
Despite the recent furore surrounding the private lives of John Terry, Wayne Bridge and Ashley Cole, Koren doesn’t expect these scandals to prove a distraction for the Three Lions this summer.
“I don’t think it will help us,” he said. “When you’re on the field you don’t think about those sorts of things.
“It’s an English thing. Football is so big here and so there’s a lot of attention on the players. In Slovenia the media just doesn’t worry about those kind of things.”
Koren was speaking at a Nike event in London. The sportswear giant revealed a series of new national team kits ahead of the 2010 World Cup.