England manager Sam Allardyce told reporters that he is feeling some nerves ahead of his first game in charge of the national team.
England takes on Slovakia on the road on Sunday to kick off the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. England are huge favorites in Group F that includes Slovakia, Scotland, Slovenia, Lithuania, and Malta.
“Every new job that you get, you get nervous – you’re hoping your players go out and do your talking for you,” Allardyce said.
“When they go out over the white line you hope they do what we all want – obviously that’s a victory. I’ll be very nervous in the early part of the build-up to the game and probably just as we get there but once the game starts, it sort of leaves me and the focus on the match comes in.
“I don’t hear the crowd around me, I just see how the team is doing and communicate with the team to make a difference if I need to.”
Allardyce made the decision to release his starting lineup two days in advance, making three changes from the team that lost to Iceland in the Euros. John Stones will start at centre back next to Gary Cahill, while Liverpool duo Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana also taking spots in the starting XI.
“I think that historically the team has never been kept a secret,” Allardyce said. “Why try and make it a secret when it’s going to get out anyway? I particularly wanted to work on the team as it’s my first get together.
“The lads can go to bed and gets themselves ready, I can work on the team who’s playing against Slovakia tomorrow. Hopefully that work has been good enough to try and beat a very difficult opposition.”