With two games remaining and a spot in Euro 2016 already secured, England heads into the tournament full of confidence.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart spoke with the media ahead of Friday’s game against Estonia. He was convinced that England can win the tournament next summer and that’s the type of expectations a big soccer country like England should have.
“Our ultimate aim is to go to next year’s tournament and win it, but talk is cheap, as we’ve proven in every tournament I’ve been to,” Hart told The Daily Mirror.
“I’ve been to lots of tournaments thinking ‘we’ve got something here,’ but we didn’t.
“If you spoke to the players in all three sports (football, rugby and cricket) I’d imagine they went into the tournaments thinking they had a good chance of winning it.
“We take sport very seriously in this country, throw everything at it, so if we don’t succeed there are no excuses.
“I’ve felt we could win every tournament I’ve been to, but we didn’t. We’re talking about world-class sport where other teams prepare very well and their whole lives revolve around winning it.”
England had a poor showing in the 2014 World Cup, finishing at the bottom of Group D with only a single point. Hart is adamant that the team will be better next summer.
“We’ve got no excuses in terms of preparation. I don’t think we can use the excuse of burn-out. Our players aren’t new to the Premier League, we’ve not been playing in Portugal and suddenly moved to the Prem.
“The Premier League is who we are and what we are.
“I can only speak about the World Cup in Brazil, I can’t speak about the rugby team, but our expectations were obviously to do a lot better than we did.
“I don’t think we put too much expectation on ourselves. We’re high-level players looking to win league and cups with our clubs.
“So winning tournaments is the kind of demand we have to make.”