England's Michael Carrick says hard work starts here ahead of trip to Brazil
Michael Carrick believes England have a good chance in next summer's World Cup - but admits there's a lot of hard work to be done before the trip to Brazil.
The Manchester United midfielder put in a solid performance as the Three Lions secured their World Cup spot with a 2-0 win over Poland at Wembley.
And after coming into the starting line-up to illustrate England's adaptability and depth, Carrick says that can only work in Roy Hodgson's favour as the focus now switches onto preparations for the competition next June.
“There is a great strength in the squad with a lot of options," said Carrick.
"I am sure we will improve with the games we have got before the World Cup but hopefully when we go to Brazil we will have everybody fit and with a good chance."
With England approaching Tuesday's game knowing that nothing less than a victory would be good enough to seal an automatic qualifying place in Brazil, there was an added pressure on the team.
But with most of the squad representing top clubs and featuring in important matches throughout the season, the 32-year-old knew England could cope with the expectation.
He added: "Going to a World Cup is a massive opportunity for any player and playing for England always comes with added pressure.
"It’s just a case of getting used to the criticism and performing to a high standard to achieve success.
"There are a lot of matches I have played in with a lot of pressure, but the country expected.
"We are used to the criticism, it is not about proving anybody wrong, we have had it all of our careers.
"It is just about going and performing really, we expect high things of ourselves with high standards and that is what we set out to achieve.
"It was a big match for many reasons. Of course we knew that we had to win, but we still had a job to do on the pitch.
"We did not think too much about the consequences of what a win or a loss would be, it was just a case of going out there and performing and we certainly did that.
"We played with freedom and imagination because we knew what we were capable of doing and there is still more to come."