Ryan Bertrand insists England cannot afford to relax in their bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
The Three Lions sit five points clear in Group F with two games to go in their campaign, starting with Thursday’s clash with third-placed Slovenia at Wembley.
Yet despite being in such a healthy position in the table, left-back Bertrand believes Gareth Southgate’s squad cannot lose focus when their target is now within touching distance.
England – who are unbeaten in eight qualifying games having conceded just three goals – complete their fixtures with a trip to Lithuania on October 8.
“It’s not over and we are very much in a positive mindset,” Bertrand told reporters. “Work is not finished. We want to get the six points.
“All games internationally are tough. They [Slovenia] perhaps have added incentive, but we still need points as well so it should be a good game.
“For me personally, with my fan’s head on as well, it would be nice to complete the qualification in front of our home fans.”
— Harry Kane (@HKane) October 2, 2017
Southgate will be without he suspended Dele Alli for the Slovenia game – he was handed a one-match ban by FIFA after being caught on camera making a one-fingered salute during the win over Slovakia in September.
However, Bertrand believes England have enough quality in the squad to cover for the absence of Tottenham’s goalscoring midfielder.
“Dele is a fantastic player, he would definitely be one on the team sheet that the opposition highlights and wants to lockdown, so that will be a miss,” he said.
“But as a nation we are blessed with amazing talent and I’m sure whoever comes in in place of him will do an amazing job.”
Bertrand was speaking after England’s players listened to a speech from 1966 World Cup winner Bobby Charlton, who had a training pitch named after him at St George’s Park in a tribute to coincide with his upcoming 80th birthday.
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