Gary Cahill anticipating 'really bad' conditions for England in Moldova

The England defender has admitted that he has heard that the pitch at the Zimbru Stadium in Chisinau "is not great" and acknowledged that he faces a fight for his place in the team
England defender Gary Cahill is expecting to encounter "really bad" conditions when the Three Lions play Moldova in Chisinau on Friday as they begin their World Cup 2014 qualification campaign.

The Chelsea centre-back admitted that Roy Hodgson's team would be training on the Zimbru Stadium pitch before the match in order to adjust because they had heard that the surface "is not great".

"It is going to be difficult," Cahill told reporters. "The conditions over there are meant to be really bad.

"We are going over there to train on the pitch because it is not great, somebody was telling me. We have been made aware that conditions probably won't be what we are used to but we will see that first hand when we train there."

Cahill insisted that despite the conditions, however, England would be well-drilled by Hodgson on the threats offered by their first opponents.

The 26-year-old also acknowledged that the Three Lions' defensive solidity at Euro 2012, with John Terry and Joleon Lescott in the centre of defence, would mean that he would have to fight to regain his place in the team.

"By the time we get to the game, we will be well aware of their strengths and weaknesses," Cahill continued. "We will be having meetings about individual players and their shape. We will be well drilled for the game.

"One of the positives out of the Euros was that we were well drilled defensively and organised. We did really well defensively which obviously makes my job now harder.

"I certainly feel I am fighting to get myself back in. But I don't think there is ever going to be a time when I can rest on my laurels and think, 'I am in the side now'."

Cahill hoped that his club partnership with Terry at Chelsea might hand him an advantage in the selection process, and praised the Blues captain's quality and experience.

"When we have played together for England and Chelsea it has gone really well," Cahill explained. "He prefers left and I prefer right.

"The experience he has got has rubbed off on me as well as his composure and positioning. The majority of times he is in the right position."