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Russia coach Hiddink: England couldn't handle pressure

Russia coach Guus Hiddink says England's defence couldn't handle the pressure his team heaped on them in the second-half of last night's 2-1 win.

England head coach Steve McClaren, who later condemned a match-changing penalty decision as "an absolute disgrace", failed to react when Hiddink sent on substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko.

The striker scored twice, including the controversial equaliser from the spot, to leave England's hopes of qualifying hanging by a thread.

Hiddink said: "At halftime I made a change and I said 'At the moment we get an equaliser we must press their defence'. I knew it would not be easy but we would get a second. They could not cope with it."

Hiddink sacrificed central defender Vasily Berezutskiy and brought on Dmitry Torbinskiy to torment England's defence, but it was Pavlyuchenko's arrival that changed the game.

"Their defence doesn't like pressure," added Hiddink. "Tactically, I am so pleased. In the first half, our two strikers played up on Joleon Lescott and in between Sol Campbell and Rio Ferdinand. We made the change at half-time to attack them even more by taking off a defender and bringing in a young, creative player.

"We could expect to harm them. England were vulnerable. We made Joe Cole almost play as a left full back and that created a two-on-one situation. That is why we could damage them."

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