A titanic performance from Sven's men put to bed any fears that were flying arou
A titanic performance from Sven's men put to bed any fears that were flying around during the build-up to this crucial fixture - outside the England camp - that, following the 2-0 victory in Liechtenstein, England may not have enough to beat Turkey
"We said that at the start of the week - everyone was talking about the Turkey game being the big one and we're all up for it."
Those were the words of England skipper David Beckham, ahead of the Group 7 qualifier against Turkey. And like his crosses from the right, he and his team of hungry Lions didn't fail to deliver.
A titanic performance from Sven's men put to bed any fears that were flying around during the build-up to this crucial fixture - outside the England camp - that, following the 2-0 victory in Liechtenstein, England may not have enough to beat the World Cup semi-finalists. But after his penalty sealed all three points and sent England storming to the top of the Group at the midway point, Becks reaffirmed his belief in the Three Lions.
"We showed passion. The 'no-hopers' did well in the end," he said.
"We deserved it. We worked hard, battled hard and there was definitely a lot of passion from everyone out there and the best team won.
"It's a great night for English football and for the young players who've come into the team.
"We've played some excellent football and shown some courage and passion. We're very happy."
And with the six points on offer now packed, he added:"We put in a professional performance on Saturday - and a magnificent one tonight."
And coach Sven-Goran Eriksson was equally delighted, if a little more understated in his appraisal:"I think we deserved it," he said before adding, "We played very well in the first half - and maybe even better in the second.
"I'm very happy for the boys - and now we're top of the group. It depends completely on us now, and that's the best way to live.
"I think we did okay against Liechtenstein, and sometimes you don't need to do more than be okay.
"Tonight we were fantastic against very difficult opponents, who are playing very good football at the moment.
"We controlled the midfield and made life very difficult for them. We also defended very well - you have to against Turkey.
"It was a very important game for us - if Turkey had won tonight they would have more or less won the group.
"I think it was a small surprise for them that we played as well as we did."
As well as toppling Turkey, England fans were also handed a look at the country's new boy-wonder as Wayne Rooney was pulled from up Sven's sleeve and shone bright in the Stadium of Light, putting in a performance well in advance of his 17-years and two previous substitute caps: "I'd thought about it (playing Rooney) since Liechtenstein but wanted it to come out today - it was good to keep it secret as long as possible." revealed Eriksson.
"He knew about it only at about 4pm. To be fair he said 'okay' - it was a very good reaction.
"I guess he was happy, and he had a very good game.
"He's a great talent - we knew that before; now we know he's ready for the big matches.
"He's very strong and very mature for a 17-year-old and he showed that today.
"I can't see any reason why I should leave him out if he plays like that.
"But all the players played well. It was an extremely good effort all round - and three very good points."