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It might be coming home - but England will have to play much better, says Telford fan

A Telford football fan in Qatar says football may be coming home - but England will have to play a lot better.

England fans Graeme Harley and son Dylan, from Priorslee in Telford
England fans Graeme Harley and son Dylan, from Priorslee in Telford

Graeme Harley, who flew to the World Cup with his son, Dylan, admits the game against USA was dire.

Speaking from the hostel they are staying in, he said that while he was rooting for Wales to qualify with England, he feared they were now out of the cup.

Graeme said that before the USA game things were very different.

"This was the day we were going to qualify easily with six points from two games and then rest our key players for the dead rubber against Wales - everyone was convinced and the mood was massively positive," he said.

"There was a fantastic atmosphere in the brunch lounge, sharing the singing with the Americans and a smattering of Mexicans and Saudis - it seems that no matter where you are from, everyone knows the words to 'It's coming home'.

"The World Cup lifted off when Iran scored the late goals against Wales. I'm sure it's friendly banter but I was rooting for Wales to qualify with us; I have far more Welsh friends than I do Iranians and Americans, but sadly it looks like the World Cup is over for the Dragons," he said.

"Then it was off to our game at the Al Bayt stadium at 7pm - the one way out in the desert with no easy transport links. Party atmosphere for this 'easy game' - we video-called friends and family in the UK, I told my Dad to put all his pension on a three nil England win - sorry Dad."

But the game was completely different - a drab 0-0 affair.

"What a let down - no energy or appetite to try and win," said Graeme. "So what if a draw effectively qualifies us? Momentum and confidence count but it was a dire game.

"I've given up with the lucky underpants - what we need is a change of stadium - we have seen two games at the Al Bayt and have yet to see a goal. Still, we remain unbeaten and the top of our group, you can't win them all and when you can play that badly and not lose, it can't be all bad.

"It might still be coming home but we need to play a lot better than that."

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