Roberto has high hopes for England

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ROBERTO Martinez not only expects England to secure their qualification for Euro 2012 in Montenegro without a hitch tonight.

The Latics chief is also predicting big things from Fabio Capello’s men in Poland and Ukraine next summer.

England will book their place at the finals – after missing out four years ago under Steve McClaren – with a draw in Podgorica.

Even if the Three Lions lose, Montenegro would also have to win in Switzerland to squeeze through and push England into the play-offs.

But Martinez is expecting no late hiccups from a side he believes are coming good at the right time.

“I have always seen England as the strongest team in their group,” Martinez told the Evening Post.

“And Fabio Capello has a very good mixture of old heads with great new talent coming through.

“You look at the quality of players coming through, and you can pick three or four of them as being able to provide something really special.

“I just feel the next two tournaments are going to be very healthy and exciting for England.”

England, and Capello, came in for massive stick from all corners after failing spectacularly at last year’s World Cup finals in South Africa.

But a solid qualifying campaign has restored some of the faith in the ability of players and manager.

And Martinez predicts England will be there or thereabouts when his native Spain defend their crown next summer.

“If injuries can allow Fabio to keep his best players in and around the squad, I see some very good times ahead for England,” Martinez added.

“The bad experience at the last World Cup can only be positive, because you learn a lot more from defeat than you do from victory.

“England are now at a point where they can enjoy their football more than they ever have.

“And assuming the next 10 months are okay in terms of injuries and mental strength, I think they have a unique opportunity to do something big next summer.”

Elsewhere in tonight’s Euro 2012 qualifiers, Latics’ James McCarthy will hope to get a run-out in the Republic of Ireland’s fixture in Andorra.

Latics skipper Gary Caldwell and club-mate James McArthur are both in Scotland’s squad for the Saturday/Tuesday double-header against Liechtenstein and then away in Spain.