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'My grandson moves better than Carroll' - Boniek

THE famous former Poland international Zbigniew Boniek fired the first shot ahead of tonight's World Cup qualifier against England when he said that his eight-year-old grandson was a more technically accomplished player than striker Andy Carroll.

Carroll, 23, is highly unlikely to start the match in Warsaw but asked about the merits of the Liverpool striker, on loan at West Ham this season, Boniek was caustic. He said: "My grandson Mateo moves better on the pitch than Andy Carroll. He has better co-ordination."

Boniek is currently the favourite to succeed another celebrated Poland international, Grzegorz Lato, in elections for president of the Polish football association later this year. Yesterday, the Polish coach Waldemar Fornalik presented an upbeat message ahead of the game, although his team are missing captain Jakub Blaszczykowski and striker Artur Sobiech through injury. The midfielder Eugen Polanski was given leave to return to his family this week on what the Polish FA said was a private matter. He will be available to play.

With Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, Poland's first choice, missing through injury it is expected that Fornalik, who took over after Euro 2012, will turn to Przemyslaw Tyton despite the fact the goalkeeper is no longer the first choice at his club side, PSV Eindhoven.

Fornalik said last night that his side believed they could beat England. "A wise man told me that if you try to draw a game, you lose. If you try to win, it is possible to win. I've always told my teams we have to go for the three points.

"When I took over the position, I was aware of the fact I would have very little time and that this match was coming up in the calendar. I thought this match would give us a better picture of what we are after the changes we have implemented. It is a very important game but it will not determine the final result of the qualifiers."