Roy Keane and Ian Wright believe England must enter the World Cup in Qatar with confidence to win the competition after the Three Lions book their spot for next year’s tournament.
Gareth Southgate’s side defeated 10 Minnows San Marino to automatically qualify for Qatar.
Southgate is blessed with a highly talented squad including Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Jude Bellingham among a number of youth hoping to get England across the line next year.
Roy Keane says England must go to the Qatar World Cup with confidence that they can win it
And former Ireland international Keane believes England’s focus must be on Qatar and insists that the Three Lions will try to compete with their biggest rivals.
When asked whether a tendency can be discussed at the World Cup, the ITV expert said: “I think it must be the players’ potential … of course a lot can change in the next few months, but yes, too at that point, “England has to think about going to the World Cup and believing that they can keep up.”
Keane added that Southgate deserved a break before the internationals in March after a hectic 2021 with England narrowly missing out on euro glory after losing on penalties to Italy.
England secured a place for next year’s competition with a 10-0 win over San Marino
Roy Keane says Southgate has the “potential” to go all the way in Qatar
“He’s just going to think now,” he said. “Gareth deserves a month or two off, recharge your batteries, think about where they are, and hope the players return and continue to work hard and do well at the club level.
‘A bit of luck, no injuries and before you know it you’ll be back at the games, the important games, in March and summer.
“Everything will take care of itself, I think he deserves a little break.”
Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright hailed England’s near-flawless qualifying campaign and said he looked forward to the Three Lions facing higher-tier opponents next year.
Ian Wright looks forward to England facing tougher opposition next year
“You have to be happy with the qualifying group we have, you have to say that,” he said. “We got away with it very impressively.
“Lots of young players come through and lots of positives that Gareth can build on so you can’t complain, you can’t argue.”
“I think it’s great. I can’t wait for us to play against some really high-profile teams so we can see exactly where we are.”