Search

England are ‘fully prepared’ for World Cup opener says Ashley Young

PUBLISHED: 13:30 14 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:32 14 June 2018

Ashley Young in action (Pic: Steven Paston/PA)

Ashley Young in action (Pic: Steven Paston/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Ashley Young says England are already raring to go for next week’s World Cup opener against Tunisia.

The Three Lions have won their opening fixture just once in the last four World Cups, squeezing past Paraguay 1-0 in 2006, but lost to Italy four years ago following 1-1 draws with the United States (2010) and Sweden (2002).

They were also held by an unfancied Russia in their first outing at Euro 2016, but Manchester United full-back Young insists the current crop are ready to make an early statement this time.

Tunisia await in Volgograd on Monday and England are ready to take the game to their Group G rivals.

“It is always important to make a good start to a tournament. You want to get off to winning ways,” said Young.

“We are fully prepared and ready for that first game. You can talk about our results historically but we are here and we are looking to do well in training and do well in that first match. I think you can see from the last two games we have started brightly and on the front foot and if you start like that it can put teams on the back foot and that is what we are looking to do come the first game.”

Tunisia are ranked 21st in the world by FIFA, nine places below England, and served notice of their resilience against Spain at the weekend in a creditable 1-0 defeat.

England, meanwhile, won both of their warm-ups against Nigeria and Costa Rica on the back of lively first-half performances.

“I saw the game on Saturday night and they were good, but every team at the World Cup is a good team,” said Young.

“You have to play against the team in front of you and it is going to be a tough task but we are fully prepared for that.

“Obviously there is more pressure because this is a World Cup but every player in the squad has dealt with pressure. We have to show we can handle that.

“As a kid you want to play in the biggest tournaments and I am as excited as anyone out there.”

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy is also thrilled to be at his first World Cup.

The 31-year-old is likely to start the competition as back-up for captain Harry Kane but knows from experience things can change fast.

He played no part in the curtain-raiser against Russia two years ago but came off the bench at half-time against Wales and scored a crucial equaliser as England pulled victory from the jaws of defeat.

“We all know we are a 23-man squad and we are all here for a reason,” he said.

“The gaffer has picked us because he thinks we are the best the country has got. So we are all here with the same mentality, all wanting to win, all wanting to play. Unfortunately, you cannot have that all of the time - you can only have 11 players on the pitch at any one time.

“You just have to make sure you put in the pressure on the training field and if you get given a chance, take it. We want to make sure we are here as winners. We have all won things ourselves at our respective clubs and we want to take that onto the international stage now.”

Vardy also gave short shrift to a question about the tense diplomatic relations between England and their hosts - the first time since arriving a squad member has been pressed on the issue.

“That is nothing to do with us,” he responded.

“We are here representing our country at football, that’s something completely different with politics and stuff. We just concentrate on our football.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

16:00

Teenager in squad alongside some of country’s brightest talents

Next up for the Tottenham Hotspur Ladies is a home clash with Millwall Lionesses this weekend

12:00

Round four to take place in London in December

A look at how some of Tottenham Hotspur’s players fared while on international duty

10:30

Saracens centre Alex Lozowski has been banned for two weeks for entering a ruck dangerously — but will be free to feature in England’s autumn Test campaign.

10:00

CSS League Challenge Cup first round: Metropolitan Police 1 (Gilbert 71) Hendon 0

14:12

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has submitted its planning application to Westminster City Council to redevelop the historic Compton and Edrich stands at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Bostik Premier: Burgess Hill Town 0 Wingate & Finchley 1

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now