Theo Walcott says England will be judged on Euro 2016 finals
Last Updated: 10/10/15 1:48pm
Theo Walcott says a perfect qualifying campaign will count for nothing if England flop at Euro 2016.
Roy Hodgson's side made it nine wins from nine on Friday night when they defeated Estonia 2-0 thanks to goals from Walcott and Raheem Sterling.
Few would have thought England would go on a 13-match unbeaten streak when they returned home from a dismal showing in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
England were condemned to their fastest ever World Cup exit after they lost to Italy and Uruguay before drawing their final group game against Costa Rica.
If England beat Lithuania on Monday, it will be the first time they have gone through qualification - in its current format - without dropping a point.
But Walcott says that England's progress will be judged on their performances at Euro 2016 next summer.
"We have to be proud of ourselves," the Arsenal forward said.
"Having nine wins after the disappointment from the World Cup and bouncing back the way the players have done - the backroom staff have changed things and things are working for us. This team is definitely hungry and eager to do well.
"We want to make it 10 on Monday night. It is a nice little thing to have - we want to win every game but we will be more tested in these friendlies coming up (against France and Spain next month) and everyone wants to win competitions and make this country proud.
"There are some young, eager faces in that dressing room who are keen to do well but we are only going to be judged when it comes to tournament football."
Walcott latched on to a pass from Barkley and neatly guided the ball past the Estonia goalkeeper in the 45th minute to score just his second England goal at Wembley.
The former Southampton man's England career spans almost a decade, but he has scored just eight goals in 42 appearances. Three of those came seven years ago on that memorable night in Zagreb when he became the youngest England player to score a hat-trick at 19 years and 177 days old.
Walcott had to wait four years for his next England goal - at Euro 2012 - and his most recent strikes before Friday came against Scotland and San Marino.
"It's a dream come true to score for your country," Walcott said.
"I'd like to score more goals, but the most important thing I want to play for this team and for us to do well."