Ukraine 0 England 0: Jack Wilshere says England expect to qualify for World Cup despite draw
Qualification remains in the Three Lions' hands
Wednesday 11 September 2013
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is confident England will qualify for the World Cup following their hard-fought draw in Ukraine.
England moved one point clear at the top of Group H with a 0-0 stalemate in Kiev's Olympic Stadium on Tuesday night.
The draw means England are still to beat any of their main rivals. Indeed the only victories in this qualifying campaign have come against world number 123 Moldova and Group H punchbags San Marino.
But the fact remains that if Roy Hodgson's men beat Poland and Montenegro at Wembley next month then they will be on their way to Brazil, and Wilshere is sure that will happen.
"We have got two home games now. We expect to win our home games and if we do then we will be on the plane to Brazil so that was a good point (on Tuesday night)," he said.
Ukraine fed off the electric atmosphere inside the packed out 70,000-seater stadium on Tuesday, taking the game to England from the off.
The hosts had numerous chances to take all three points, but they were wasteful in front of goal.
Although England's defence was rock solid - Gary Cahill in particular performed brilliantly - there was a real lack of creativity in midfield and Rickie Lambert cut an isolated figure up front.
Former England striker Gary Lineker was unimpressed with the performance, which he described as "awful" on Twitter.
Yet Wilshere insists England should be happy with a point.
"This is a difficult place to come," the 21-year-old said.
"In the end it was a fair result. We wanted to win, but sometimes the ball doesn't bounce for you.
"At half-time we said, 'look, it's there to be won for us'. But overall we were happy.
"It was a strange game. One minute we were on the attack and the other minute they were. We defended really well. We stood up to them and had a few chances of our own at the end."
Although Wilshere's drive and enthusiasm were admirable, the midfielder did not have the best game of his international career.
But such has been the worthy hype around the player, it is easy to forget that this was just his 10th appearance.
His only previous experience of an away qualifier was England's straightforward win over Wales two and a half years ago.
"It was my biggest international game, my first big one away," Wilshere said.
"It was a hostile atmosphere. It was good for me. It was a good experience. I had a lot of experience around me with me with Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard and they helped me.
"It always helps when you have that experience in your team. You can't just give that to anyone. It comes over time. They have been there and done it and they showed that."
Latest in Sport
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 4 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed