England training
England trainingReuters

England is on top of Group H in spite of 1-1 draw with Poland on Wednesday's World Cup qualifier match, but their performance seemed to have been affected by the sleeping pills some players had taken before the match.

Some players, who took caffeine-filled tablets before the match, had a hard time on Tuesday night following a 20-hour delay due to a waterlogged pitch, forcing them to take sleeping pills to unwind.

Rooney put England ahead in the first half, but Kamil Glik found an equalizer for Poland just 20 minutes before the match ended.

The Three Lions didn't look sleepy on the field but their disappointing performance cast doubt on the side effect of the pills. The fact that they had only one attempt on target - the one that Wayne Rooney made good use of - is revealing enough.

However, skipper Steven Gerrard played down the allegation that England suffered because of the match delay.

 "When you're fired-up, pumped-up, you've had your massages and you're ready to go, a postponement is not ideal but we're professionals. We're playing at the top level and we had to get ourselves up for this but I didn't think we were totally at the races. I slept fine. I won't use the delay and conditions as an excuse. The reason we didn't win was we didn't pass it when we went in front," The Sun quoted Gerrard as saying. He also added that the delay and the condition of the ground is not an excuse for the bad performance. 

England goalkeeper Joe Hart took the blame for the draw on Wednesday, saying that his sloppy keeping was the cause for the equalizer.

"I came and didn't get there and the lad did a decent header," The Telegraph quoted Hart as saying. "It's my fault, I should have punch it or stayed in goal. I didn't do either and it cost us."

Manager Roy Hodgson admitted that his team didn't play well against Poland on Wednesday.  

"I had the impression earlier in the week that the players were looking sharp and lively. I didn't have that impression today. I don't know if that's due to the extra night, the sodden pitch or that we didn't play well on the day. There are days when you don't hit the heights. You just have to make certain you don't go away ruing that fact. A point in Warsaw is not to be looked down upon," Daily Mail quoted Hodgson as saying.

The Wednesday's draw means Montenegro will overtake England as group leader if they beat San Marino next month. However, England have the chance to take over when they travel to San Marino and Montenegro in March.