World Cup: Phil Jagielka says England can qualify in style
Last Updated: 16/06/14 9:55am
Phil Jagielka remains confident England will progress to the World Cup knock-out stages and thinks they can do so in style.
England lost their opening Group D clash 2-1 to Italy on Saturday night but there were plenty of positives, with Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge all causing the Italian defence problems.
Uruguay are next up in Sao Paulo on Thursday before England take on Costa Rica. And Jagielka says that if the defence tightens up and the attacking players match their performance against Italy, Roy Hodgson’s men will advance.
"This is international football and, especially in a World Cup match, unless you do not concede and score goals, you will not win games," the Everton defender said.
"That is the obvious way of looking at it. But if you take a step back and look at the performance as a whole I think there were positives, but the result makes these last two games that little bit more interesting.
"Mathematically, there could be a draw and then a high-scoring win in the final game but, if we want it in our own hands and we want to qualify in a little bit of style, we want to win these last two games.
"If we take away the result and look at some of the performances, the exciting players we had out on the pitch, the future is looking good but we have still got to do well in the present.
"If we had lost and not gone for it and scored goals or created chances, these next two games would have looked bleak.
"Once we recover and look forward there will be a lot of positive things, and hopefully the camp will be confident to put in some good performances."
Mathematically, there could be a draw and then a high-scoring win in the final game but, if we want it in our own hands and we want to qualify in a little bit of style, we want to win these last two games.
They will also need to show their mettle at the back to keep Uruguay's attack quiet in Sao Paulo.
While Oscar Tabarez's defence looked vulnerable in the 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica, so too did England's at times against Italy.
It was the first time England have lost when Jagielka and Gary Cahill were playing together in the heart of defence.
And it remains to be seen whether they will have to deal with Luis Suarez on Thursday. Asked how to deal with the Liverpool striker if he plays, Jagielka said: "By trying to keep him as far away from the goal as possible.
"I do not think Uruguay are a one-man team. It would be disrespectful to say they are putting all their hopes on Suarez.
"They are in a pretty similar situation to us now. I presume the game will be exciting and both teams need a win.
"I think confidence-wise we will have more, particularly if the attacking boys keep playing as well as they did and take our chances."