The Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ sees England unseeded for the first time since 2002, but Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere believe that Roy Hodgson's side won't be at a significant disadvantage.
The duo chatted with FIFA.com at Wembley Stadium following England's 1-0 defeat to Germany last month, and both said that they would be keeping a keen eye across the proceedings at the Costa do Sauipe on Friday.
FIFA.com: England are unseeded for the Final Draw. Are there any teams you’re hoping to avoid?
Jack Wilshere: I think we need to take it as it comes. When you want to win the World Cup you have to play the best teams. There are some good teams in Pot 1 and Pot 4, we’ll all be watching when the draw comes and we’ll take who we get.
Can you say where England expect to be in Brazil?
Steven Gerrard: We’re not one of the favourites, I think we know that. At the same time, you have to go into this tournament with a bit of belief and confidence and give it your best shot. Of course, there are better teams out there than us. You just need to look at the rankings to see where we are, but we need to go there and give it our best shot.
We’re not one of the favourites. There are better teams out there than us.
Do you think expectations have been reduced as a result of recent results?
JW: I think they have. When you lose games, that’s what happens. People are going to say, “The two teams we lost to are going to the World Cup". We had two good results last month, so we can’t be too hard on ourselves. They were two tough games but we had chances in both games.
Will it be helpful to you to come into Brazil with less pressure?
SG: I think it will be. You go into a World Cup where people judge you fairly and they’re not blowing you up to what you’re not and there’s not too much pressure or expectations on the players. I’m sure that will help us. When we get our full strength team back with likes of (Danny) Welbeck, (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain and (Theo) Walcott, we’ll have a good team and a team that can go to the World Cup and compete.