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Peters confident England can avoid Poland repeat

14 October 2013, 23:37

London - Martin Peters suffered World Cup heartbreak at the hands of Poland but does not expect the current side to suffer a similar fate at Wembley on Tuesday.

England need to beat Poland to guarantee their place at next year's World Cup finals in Brazil, something Peters' England side failed to do back in 1973.

Forty years ago England found themselves up against a Poland goalkeeper in Jan Tomaszewski having a brilliant match and, although they eventually beat him from the penalty spot, a 1-1 draw meant they failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup in West Germany.

"It was a massive disappointment for me personally," Peters, speaking on behalf of William Hill, official England supporter, said Monday.

"On that night, because Bobby Moore didn't play, I was captain," recalled Peters who, alongside his then West Ham team-mate had been a member of the England side that won the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley.

"It was a great honour and I shall never forget it. Not winning meant a lot to me.

"Steven Gerrard has been through so many things. He's been a great player for so many years and he's now captain.

"No-one needs to give him any gee-up. He will know exactly what he needs to do. Not only his own game, but making sure the others know what to do as well."

Now former midfielder Peters, 70 next month, hopes England can repeat their sparkling second-half performance against Montenegro at Wembley on Friday when they scored all four goals in a 4-1 victory.

"I think because they (Poland) can't qualify they'll come out and have a go at us," Peters said.

"I'd like to see us play the way we played in the second half against Montenegro. If we can do that, we'll beat them."

The 1973 match was regarded as a watershed in English football as it meant that England, for the first time since entering the World Cup, had failed to reach the finals.

"I haven't watched the game back. I'd love to have watched it and seen what we could've done about it," Peters said.

"We didn't play that badly on the night, it's just we couldn't put the ball in the back of the net."

As for Tomaszewski, Peters added: "He played really, really well on the night and saved them.

"In the last five minutes we got an effort on the goal and one of their guys kicked it off the line. If that had gone in, we would've won and we would've qualified for the World Cup."




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