Kek keeps the heat on England
Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek has piled the pressure on England ahead of their World Cup showdown.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 23/06/10 9:16am
Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek has piled the pressure on England ahead of their World Cup showdown on Wednesday.
Slovenia go into the final group game top of Group C knowing a draw would be good enough for them to reach the second round while seeds England must win to be sure of reaching the last 16.
Despite disappointing draws in their opening two games, England remain favourites to progress with Slovenia playing in just their second World Cup.
But Kek insists his side are happy to be underdogs and has taken the opportunity to remind Fabio Capello's star-studded line-up that all the expectation is on them to succeed.
"I would like to point out that England has to go through to the second round - Slovenia wishes to go to the second round," he said.
"We are aware of the significance of tomorrow's match for both Slovenia and England: the stakes are very high.
"We have a very good starting point but we are aware we are playing a very strong team and this is why we need to gear up for this match.
"We are self-confident, we are courageous and we will be able to face up to England."
Slovenia enjoyed a 1-0 win over Algeria in their opening game before the USA came from behind to claim a 2-2 draw.
England, meanwhile, drew 1-1 with the USA and were held 0-0 by Algeria, yet Kek tipped them not only to go through but to go all the way in South Africa.
"The quality of England is clear," he added. "For me, England is still the favourite to win the World Cup at the very end.
"I already pointed out prior to the World Cup that England and the United States were sure to go through to the second round.
"But we, as sportsmen, want to achieve a huge success and have shown in our matches that we can face anyone.
"Slovenia has shown a game that is of high quality and a game that has marked Group C."