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By ESPN Staff
Jun 3, 2007

Poom: England will qualify with Croatia

Estonia goalkeeper Mart Poom expects to be a busy man at the Le Coq Arena in Tallinn on Wednesday night and believes England have enough talent to secure qualification for Euro 2008. The Group E outsiders have lost all of their Euro 2008 qualifiers so far, most recently going down 1-0 to leaders Croatia yesterday. Having so far also failed to chalk up a goal, Estonia - managed by former Dutch Army coach Jelle Goes - are not expected to provide Steve McClaren's men with much trouble. England desperately need a victory to put themselves back on course to reach Austria and Switzerland following a disappointing return of just 11 points from their six matches. Veteran Poom has made more than 100 appearances for Estonia and will be a familiar face in the host's line-up having enjoyed spells with Derby, Sunderland and most recently Arsenal before joining Watford at the end of the season. The 35-year-old feels England will soon be back in contention at the top of Group E. 'I still think England will go through along with Croatia,' Poom said. 'I know they have not had the best possible start, but they have got most of their big games left at home. 'With the new Wembley ready and 80,000 screaming fans it will be like a fortress for England. 'If you look at their players, they should go though.' Poom told Arsenal TV On-line: 'I think it will be quite a one-sided game to be honest, so I will have to be on my toes and the defenders will have to have a good game. 'Our chances will come in the counter-attacks. 'Andres Oper, who plays in Holland, is our record-goalscorer and once had a trial with Arsenal, so hopefully he will also keep the England defenders occupied.' Poom feels the tiny Le Coq Arena will provide a unique atmosphere on Wednesday night. 'It is our first ever specialised football stadium in Estonia,' he said. 'They have put some extra stands on it, so there is nearly 10,000 and the people are very close to the pitch and it can generate a good atmosphere.' Head coach Goes took over from fellow Dutchman Arno Pijpers in 2004, having been in charge of the under-21s. Despite calls for the manager to be axed following a poor campaign, Poom believes Estonia are heading in the right direction. He said: 'When we started playing international football after becoming members of FIFA, back in 1991, we had to start from the basics and really just learn how to defend, because we were not good enough to just attack. 'Every point was a good result for us. 'After a while, the people back home wanted to see more attacking football. 'Now it is a case of trying to find the right medium.' Poom added: 'We have a Dutch manager, and we try to play quite an attacking system. 'We try to be tight and compact at the back but also try to find ways to be positive on counter-attacks and with set-pieces. 'We just need to show more composure and confidence in front of goal. 'Whether people come to watch football in Estonia or England, they want to see a good game.'