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England coach Hodgson: Brnovic trying mind games with rant

England coach Roy Hodgson refused to hit back at taunts from Montenegro counterpart Branko Brnovic ahead of tonight's World Cup qualifier.

Brnovic accused England of being a long ball team, being scared of the fixture, having a weak defence and being arrogant by pencilling in friendlies for next November's play-off dates.

But Hodgson replied: "People are entitled to their opinions. I would say it is mind games. There is not too much doubt about that. I don't have an opinion (about what Brnovic has said).

"I'm surprised he thinks a defeat won't hurt Montenegro. Most coaches feel a defeat at all levels of football.

"I'm also quite confident people in England who know how we play.

"I would suggest they know the team even better than their coach and will make their own decision on those statements.

"But, for me, it is water off a duck's back. Matches are not won or lost by coaches either making provocative statements or telling you what a wonderful team you are to lure you into a false sense of security."

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