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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 October 2007, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Hiddink mocks England's tactics
Russia coach Guus Hiddink
Hiddink took advantage of England's defensive strategy
Russia coach Guus Hiddink has claimed England are a team that panics under pressure and are tactically naive.

Russia beat England 2-1 last week to put Euro 2008 qualification in their own hands and leave Steve McClaren's men relying on their rivals' results.

Hiddink told BBC Radio 5live: "When you put pressure on England they drop back like a handball team around their area.

"And I was very happy to see England's defence because they played with four central defenders in there."

England coach McClaren picked Everton's Joleon Lescott as cover for the injured Ashley Cole at left-back, with Micah Richards - also a central defender for his club Manchester City - on the opposite flank.

And Hiddink feels that played into Russia's hands.

Blood Fu Yung

He added on 5live's Sportsweek programme: "I was very happy to see England line up with Lescott on their left side.

"We played with two attackers but also a very mobile midfielder and we forced England's left midfielder Joe Cole to be a left full-back.

"It meant we ended up with a two-on-one situation and were able to penetrate on our right side, their left.

"When we put pressure on them they were panicking and they could not get hold of the ball or gain any control."

England took the lead in Moscow through Wayne Rooney and Hiddink admitted it was "a big blow" to deal with.

I don't know if you should hang the coach because of one result

Guus Hiddink on Steve McClaren

However, Hiddink insisted he felt his team would score - and they equalised when they were awarded a penalty, given despite Rooney's foul on Konstanin Zurianov taking place just outside the area.

Hiddink feels the decision evened out an injustice when Russia had a goal disallowed for offside during their 3-0 defeat by England at Wembley.

He said: "The contact for the penalty started outside the area and continued inside. But if the referee has any doubts, under the new rule the attacking team will get the advantage.

"We did not complain about a legal goal we scored at Wembley which would have made it 1-1 and turned the game, so in the end it all balances itself out.

"I think you have to look at your own team and how you can improve in order to avoid these tricky situations."

Roman Pavluchenko scored from the spot and then struck the winner four minutes later to leave Russia in control of their own qualifying destiny.

Wins against Israel and Andorra will send Russia through and mean England will not reach the finals.

Hiddink, though, said he was not sure whether the calls for McClaren to be sacked are right.

"I don't know if you should hang the coach because of one result," he said.

"England had a bad game against us, but it is difficult to judge from the outside. The people on the inside and the press should do that."

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Loss in Russia mystifies McClaren
17 Oct 07 |  Internationals
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17 Oct 07 |  Football
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22 Aug 07 |  Internationals


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