England 4-1 Montenegro – post game quotes and Poland preview
England lead group H with 19 points – one point ahead of Ukraine. A win against Poland will seal their ticket to Brazil 2014
“We have to reach the finals first, but I am sure once we do that the manager will have a few games to prepare for the tournament.
“We have got some very exciting players, young exciting players.
“I think all the talk about ‘there’s not enough good English players’ – well, we have got six, seven or eight young players.
“Andros did great, he’s an exciting player with a great future and then you have [Danny] Welbeck, [Daniel] Sturridge, [Phil] Jones, [Chris] Smalling, [Jack] Wilshere, [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, [Theo] Walcott – the players we have got there, there’s some talent.
“So, we are happy with the squad we have got and are looking forward to the future.”
However, England must first beat Poland at Wembley before they can think about the finals. They are guaranteed a play-off place but with nearest rivals Ukraine playing minnows San Marino Rooney knows a win is a must.
He added: “It’s a massive game. Poland are probably a better team at the moment than Montenegro.
“I think they are much more dangerous on the counter-attacks and we will have to prepare well for that.
“But if we perform like we did against Montenegro then we will be okay.” England-Poland and all others World Cup qualifiers can be reviewed on Allpro soccer for the latest updates.
“If you are playing for your country you want to be at the World Cup and that’s why it’s a huge game on Tuesday. “There is a lot of desire. Me and Stevie [Gerrard] have been here a long time and I think that is pushing us on.
“I would like to think now we have the confidence and the threats going forward – I believe we will hold our nerve. “Everyone loves playing at Wembley and [Poland] have some big-name players in their team so they will want to come here and put on a show regardless of whether they have qualified or not.
“They will be relaxed and we have to make sure we have the extra edge as we need the win to go to Brazil. We need to come out firing on Tuesday no matter what they do.”
“The result will give us a huge lift and it’s good for confidence going into the final game.
“But the message is that the job’s half done. Poland are a very good team. They’re going to come and do us no favours, like Montenegro, try to make it really difficult for us.
“It’s important that we perform to the same level as on Friday night.”
England have secured a place in the play-offs at worst with the win, and know that will be their fate if they fail to beat Poland.
Ukraine’s 1-0 defeat of Poland kept them a point behind Roy Hodgson’s men, with just a clash against San Marino to come.
The match in Kharkov finished prior to half-time at Wembley and England’s players were aware of the result – and the added pressure – at the interval, when they were being held 0-0 by their visitors.
Gerrard added: “We did know the result and it wasn’t helpful. The rumours were circulating which added that little bit more pressure.
“I said earlier in the week it was going to be a pressure situation. It’s that critical stage in qualifying now and we took it on the chin, we accepted responsibility and we produced.”