In the latest England news, captain Harry Kane says the Three Lions will take an “aggressive and brave” approach to the forthcoming World Cup.
The 1966 world champions have struggled to impress at recent tournaments, crashing out of the last World Cup in Brazil at the group stages, while they were embarrassed by Iceland in the last-16 of Euro 2016.
It is 12 years since England reached the quarter-final of a major competition, while their last semi-final appearance came way back in 1996.
Head coach Gareth Southgate has gone with a young squad in the hope of bucking that trend with the large majority of the players having not been part of the Iceland debacle two years ago.
Kane admits the Three Lions have been far too passive at finals in the past but has insisted they will not repeat previous mistakes at this World Cup, insisting they are out to make a statement.
“The aim is to be aggressive and brave in possession. We want to take this tournament head on,” said the Tottenham hitman.
“There will be tough moments, and ups and downs. Sometimes going into a big tournament is about not losing and being passive but, for us, it’s about playing attacking football.
“We are aiming to win the first game, then to target the second, and take that attitude to the World Cup.”
Kane believes the England set-up has undergone a major change in the last two years since the Iceland loss, crediting Southgate with adopting a more positive approach than predecessor Roy Hodgson.
“I’m confident it won’t happen – I won’t say 100 per cent because you never know in football – but in this team we wear our heart on our sleeve,” he added.
“We’re proud to be here, we will work hard, be energetic. First and foremost we will run around and do that aspect of the game. We have a lot of attacking flair that can do some damage.”
England arrive in Russia on Tuesday ahead of their first game against Tunisia on June 18 before matches with Panama and Belgium, and they are 6/5 to win Group G with bet365.