Friday 27 June 2014 11:56, UK
Chris Smalling insists England can still be optimistic about the future, despite their early exit from the World Cup in Brazil.
Roy Hodgson’s side failed to qualify from the Group D, with defeats to Italy and Uruguay condemning England to elimination before Tuesday’s final game against Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte.
The inclusion of young players such as Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Danny Welbeck had given fans fresh hope, but they could not rescue a defensively fragile side.
Defender Smalling could make his first appearance against Costa Rica as Hodgson has pledged to make changes and the Manchester United man believes a victory will lift spirits back in England.
"All the way through, I have been able to take part in the training sessions and give my all and if the opportunity comes on Tuesday then I will grab it, said the 24-year-old, who is likely to play a more prominent role in the European Championship qualifiers.
"There are a lot of young and exciting players coming through and that core will carry on going into Tuesday.
"That will be shown and hopefully we can put some smiles back on people's faces after the disappointment.
"Going into the Euro qualifiers, there is a good squad that we can really build on together."