Ryan Bertrand: England’s work isn’t finished yet

Ryan Bertrand says there is still plenty of hard work ahead as England look to secure qualification for the World Cup.

The Three Lions have one foot in Russia ahead of their double-header of qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania.

They could qualify in the first of those appointments at Wembley on Thursday.

“It’s not over, we are very much of a positive mindset. The work isn’t finished and we will try to get the six points,” Bertrand said.

“All games internationally are tough. Slovenia will need the points but we need points as well.”

Bertrand wants to get the job done at Wembley rather than waiting to go to Lithuania.

“For me personally, with a fan’s head on, it would be nice to qualify in front of our fans, but we still have work to do.”

The behaviour of international sportsmen and women has been brought into the spotlight lately after England cricketer Ben Stokes was arrested.

Asked of the pressures of playing and living in the limelight, Bertrand added: “It comes with the game. Once you make that pledge to commit, you have to live by it. We are aware of our responsibilities 24/7.

“It is a way of life. You are not just representing yourself but your club and country and there’s great pressure.”

England will be boosted by the form of Harry Kane, who has scored 11 goals in his last six games for Tottenham.

Bertrand knows his team-mates will benefit from having such a form player in their side and has backed Kane to get the armband.

“He is in great form,” Bertrand added. “Him coming to the England camp in such fine form is a massive boost for the whole squad.

“(The captiancy) is completely down to the manager. ‘H’ gets my vote, what we are blessed with is we have a lot of leaders in the camp now and whoever is tasked with that duty on the night is deserving of that.”

One player not in the frame against Lithuania is Dele Alli, who is serving a one-match ban following a gesture he made in the win over Slovakia last month.

Bertrand reckons there is enough depth to cover the Tottenham midfielder’s loss.

“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.”

Source: By PA Sport Staff

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