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England v Estonia: We´ve won nothing yet, Hart warns

Joe Hart says a 100 per cent record in Euro 2016 qualifying could end up meaning very little as England prepare to host Estonia.

Roy Hodgson’s side go into their final two fixtures in Group E as the only team in Europe to have won all of their eight games to date.

England are looking to maintain their perfect record at Wembley on Friday but Hart knows they must back up their qualifying performances at the tournament in France next year.

“I feel there is a great belief in the squad. We feel good. We have picked ourselves up,” he said.

“We were disappointed a couple of summers ago but life goes on. We had a two-year plan after that. We’re 12 months into that and then it is all about next summer.

“Winning 10 qualifying games wouldn’t crown everything, winning the tournament itself would do that. It isn’t that good an achievement unless we go on and win the whole thing.”

England boss Hodgson could look to experiment for the game against Estonia, with his side’s place at the top of the group already assured. Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton and Stoke City’s Jack Butland are vying for Hart’s spot, while Tottenham’s Dele Alli could debut in midfield.

Liverpool’s Danny Ings, however, is a doubt to make his debut after sitting out a training session this week, along with captain Wayne Rooney and Swansea City midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, while the injured John Stones has already left the camp. Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker have been called up as injury replacements.

Estonia can still secure qualification for Euro 2016, although they will need Switzerland to drop points against San Marino as well as end their own run of seven away competitive internationals without a win if they are to keep their hopes alive.

Dmitri Kruglov is set to win his 100th cap against England, while Aleksandr Dmitrijev is back from suspension for Magnus Pehrsson’s side.

England have won all three previous meetings between the sides without conceding a goal, and have not lost a home European qualifier since the 3-2 defeat to Croatia in 2007, a result that cost Steve McClaren his job as coach.

Estonia, by contrast, have failed to score in their last five away qualifiers, which included a 0-0 draw with San Marino – ranked 196th in the world – last November.

Wed 7 Oct, 2015
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