OUNTDOWN: 25 DAYS TO GO

The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

we’ve all got to play some time to pre­pare for the tour­na­ment.”

Hon­duras, who will be ap­pear­ing in their third World Cup fi­nals, have never won a game and they failed to score a goal in their last ap­pear­ance in 2010.

Men­tal­ity

But the squad this time around fea­tures six Bri­tish-based play­ers – Pre­mier League reg­u­lars Maynor Figuero and Wil­son Pala­cios of Hull and Stoke, as well as Celtic star Emilio Iza­guirre and Arnold Per­alta of Rangers among their ranks.

Espinoza, who has 34 caps for his coun­try, in­sists the English style – and the gut-wrench­ing 2-1 de­feat to QPR at Lof­tus Road – can ac­tu­ally aid their chances.

“The English live foot­ball and that’s some­thing we can get on with. We love the at­mos­phere, which can be un­be­liev­able like dur­ing (the QPR) game,” he added.

“I think Hon­durans are at­tracted to English foot­ball be­cause we have the right men­tal­ity and phys­i­cal­ity to play here. In­stead of go­ing to Amer­ica, a lot of us now like com­ing to Eng­land.

“It’s a place where foot­ball is very emo­tional. People tend to treat you in a dif­fer­ent way and we like that style.

“Hon­duras has more play­ers with the abil­ity to play in Eng­land so hope­fully they will come. Then there will be more Hon­durans with bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing with the best play­ers in the world.

“The at­mos­phere from our fans gave us the con­fi­dence to work hard for the club. I’m al­ready look­ing for­ward to next sea­son. This sea­son is done now so I’ll go on to the na­tional side and then do it all again next year.”

Espinoza joined the Lat­ics from Sport­ing Kansas City in Jan­uary 2013 and four months later was lift­ing the FA Cup af­ter a last-gasp vic­tory over Manch­ester City.

Rel­e­ga­tion soured the mem­o­ries some­what but the left-sided player was des­per­ate to go back to Wem­b­ley and earn an im­me­di­ate re­turn to the Pre­mier League be­fore Rangers put paid to his hopes.

“It’s very, very dis­ap­point­ing not to get the chance to cre­ate some more great mem­o­ries at Wem­b­ley,” he con­tin­ued.

“We’ve come so close and prob­a­bly were a lit­tle un­lucky not to make it. I give credit to QPR, though as they de­fended re­ally well, es­pe­cially at the end.

“We tried all we could to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties and ac­tu­ally had some chances but did not fin­ish them.

“Over­all they de­served to win. I think next sea­son with a more set­tled man­age­rial sit­u­a­tion and a team of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers we can def­i­nitely get au­to­matic pro­mo­tion.

“We had a very rough be­gin­ning to this sea­son and had we done bet­ter then we wouldn’t be here right now.

“We need to start re­ally well to make sure we don’t fall into this play­offs sit­u­a­tion again and just go straight up to the Pre­mier League.”

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