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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Oct 9, 2013

Jovetic warns England to expect 'fight'

Montenegro striker Stevan Jovetic is confident of getting a result against England on Friday, claiming Roy Hodgson’s side are no longer feared.

Stevan Jovetic has warned England not to expect an easy ride against Montenegro.
Stevan Jovetic has warned England not to expect an easy ride against Montenegro.

Montenegro travel to Wembley having already drawn with England three times, once during this campaign and twice in the qualifiers for Euro 2012, leading the Manchester City player to proclaim that the onus is on England.

"I think they have more pressure than us because they are expected to win -- and expect to win," he is quoted as saying in the Guardian.

"The fact that we have drawn three times with England gives us confidence for this game and the fact we have Moldova at home [next week]. England have us and then Poland. It is going to be a big fight to see which country goes through."

Wayne Rooney was banned for the first two games of Euro 2012 after being sent off during a 2-2 draw against Montenegro.

However, Jovetic insists there are no plans to target the Manchester United striker a second time in a bid to make him lose his cool.

Jovetic added: "No, no. He is a very good player and has shown that so many times. No, we're not going to do that. It's normal that you play with passion when you play for your national team. I think he is a very good player -- we are not going to set out to provoke him."

The former Fiorentina striker also backed club colleague Joe Hart.

Hart’s form has been questioned in recent weeks but Jovetic believes he is one of the top three goalkeepers in the world.

"It was good for his confidence for him to play well against Everton," he said. "For me he is one of top three goalkeepers in the world. As I say, I expect a very difficult [game] but I believe we can win."

Jovetic outlined just how much it meant to him personally, as well as his teammates to qualify for a major tournament by explaining the prestige it would give the country to be able to rival their neighbours.

"I have two dreams -- to win the Champions League with City and go to the World Cup in Brazil with Montenegro,” he said. “For us it means everything to get to the finals of the World Cup or the European Championship because we are such a small country. It is important not just for football reasons but also for the prestige of the country. We have seen neighbouring countries like Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia reach the finals in the past and now we want to get there."

Jovetic has suffered an interrupted start to life at City because of injury, but after resuming full training on Friday he is eager to play a full role in the coming months.

He said: "It's true I haven't played much football. When I arrived I had a problem with my hamstring. The other players were already playing and I was doing the preparation.

"Then I went away with the national team and I came back with another little problem and the team were playing well. I played against Stoke and after that I played against Wigan and felt good. I didn't play against Everton because I've had a [calf] problem for two days.

"I spoke with the manager and he didn't want to risk me and felt it was better that I didn't play. I would like to have played more going into this game but I've had a couple of injuries and not been able to get a run in the team. Now I hope I'm going to stay fit and things will get better."

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