Kosovo manager Bernard Challandes makes bold quit claim ahead of England clash

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Bernard Challandes says he should quit if he did not believe Kosovo can beat England.

Kosovo are 120th in the world in the FIFA rankings but have already upset the Czech Republic, are on a 15 game unbeaten run and have got their eyes on another scalp at St Mary’s.

Kosovo boss Challandes, 68, is as extrovert Swiss-born coach and he was at his tub-thumping best ahead of his team facing England who he described as the best team in the world.

Challandes said: “If I say we come for winning, I think a lot of people think he is pretentious and if I say it is not possible to win England I must change job.

“It is in my philosophy that if we don’t dream it is not necessary to play such a game. We must do all what is possible for the game in England. I will see tomorrow with Kosovo.

Kosovo manager Bernard Challandes is confident his side could beat England

“Never have we thought after four games that we would play for the first place here in England. It is clear, it will be a very, very hard game but it is a possibility for our young team to show what is the high, high level.

“We are Kosovo and we are here against one of the best teams in the world and in my opinion THE best team in the world. But we must believe.

“Afraid is not a good word. Fear? I am not stupid. I have seen (England beat) 5-0 Czech Republic, Montenegro 1-5 and England-Bulgaria 4-0 and we are Kosovo. It means I have big respect.

“We were in Dublin for the draw and everybody thought immediately England first and Czech Republic would be second and they do not speak about Kosovo.

Kosovo’s players train at St Mary’s ahead of the clash

England play Kabaddi during their training session

“Now we have this chance to fight until the end of the group and the last game is the Czech Republic. It is very good for us.”

The reason Kosovo are ranked so low is the country has only been recognised for three years but Gareth Southgate fears they are the biggest danger in Group A.

Challandes summed it up by insisting his team would come to England to go all-out attack.

He added: “I don’t want to say to my team that we stay in our own half and defend, defend, defend, We slide, We go a little, We turn. We slide. I hope we can play. We can be an opponent, not a big opponent bur an opponent for England and we can learn with this intensity.

“It is a big question in my head and it is also my hope because I like to play football and we search to win and we need the ball and sometimes England do not give the ball to the opponent.”



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