John Terry insists England can improve by "another 20 or 30 per cent" as they prepare to say thank you to their fans after qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ with a lap of Wembley following tonight's clash with Belarus.
Skipper Terry believes England have made massive strides forward under Fabio Capello to the extent where they qualified for South Africa with two matches to spare after eight successive wins. And the Chelsea star revealed an inner confidence and belief that England can achieve glory despite the defeat against Ukraine at the weekend.
But Terry is also aware that England are not the finished article and he expects Capello to experiment in the five remaining games before the FIFA World Cup gets under way on 11 June. Terry said: "From where we were last year, we've come a really long way but we've still got another 20 or 30 per cent to improve. I said this even after the Croatia game when we won 5-1.
We've got huge improvements to make all over the field, in defence and going forward, collectively and individually,
"We've got huge improvements to make all over the field, in defence and going forward, collectively and individually, and I'm sure the manager in the next few games will try different things. That belief is there in the squad, within the players, that we can win something. In the past we've all come out and said 'yeah, we can win something.'
"But the important thing is that you feel that inside. When you feel that, you feel you can go up another level. That confidence is there. We do feel quietly confident. The improvements are there all over the squad and the manager has been a massive part of that."
All 55 players who have featured so far in Capello's squads have been invited to attend Wembley tomorrow when Terry and Co will show their appreciation to the fans. Terry said: "We'll go around the pitch. We owe that to the fans, for their support. They were really good again the other night, again with some cheeky songs!
"We'd love to go out on a high note with a win, but we owe it to the fans to show our gratitude. We won't be running around celebrating or jumping on each other's backs. It is the minimum requirement for us to be in a major competition.
It's (qualification) a major achievement because we've come a long way since last time,
"It's a major achievement because we've come a long way since last time. But, above all, it's a thank you. Those fans travel all over the world. Look at the other night. Think of their tickets, hotels, a few beers. It adds up to an awful lot of money, and the players really respect that."
Terry wants all 55 players to feel involved and knows at any time even those on the fringe at present could be called upon to make their mark. He said: "I'd like them to go around the pitch with us. They've all played a part. It's been a good experience for them as well. It's not just about the starting eleven. It could be those players who have come in and not made the bench. Everyone.
"And, when it's all of a sudden thrown at you and you're without a big player, like Wayne Rooney is out of this squad, you're looking for someone to come in and step into their shoes. We'd like to get them down pitch side with five minutes to go, and we'll all go round together. I think that's important to show what a squad we are."