Daniel Sturridge pinpoints team spirit as England qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

The Liverpool striker has begun to develop an understanding with Wayne Rooney in attack

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The Independent Football

Daniel Sturridge hopes England's team spirit can be the catalyst for success at the World Cup.

Roy Hodgson's men secured automatic qualification for the tournament in Brazil as winners of Group H when they beat Poland 2-0 at Wembley on Tuesday night, following up the 4-1 victory over Montenegro with another cohesive display.

Striker Sturridge - in fine form for Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League - has forged a promising understanding at England level with Wayne Rooney, who scored a ninth goal in his last 10 internationals when heading the hosts into the lead just before half-time.

The collective effort was capped by a late strike from captain Steven Gerrard, which sparked wild celebrations in the stands, on the England bench and among the players.

It is a positive environment which Sturridge believes can only stand the national team in good stead for the challenges which await over the next seven months and on into the World Cup finals.

Put to him that the squad looks united, Sturridge said: "It is very fair to say. It is all about working together as a team and going out there to perform.

"The squad has been close the whole time I have been here. It is always good to link up with each other again."

The forwards have clicked well in the past two games, and Sturridge said: "We have time to develop that understanding now and I look forward to that and working with these guys in the future and for years to come.

"We played very well as a team in both games and if we keep doing that, we will be okay."

Sturridge, 24, explained that stopping himself being carried away by close scrutiny and the intense atmosphere, with some 20,000 loud Poland fans packed into a sell-out Wembley crowd, helped to deliver the required final result.

"I was very relaxed (going into the game). I didn't feel any pressure, it was just another game for me. I didn't feel like it was anything more special; if I did I'd put myself under pressure. I took a relaxed approach," the former Chelsea forward added.

"It is going okay (at Liverpool). I am going to take each day as it comes, work hard in training and thanks to God for everything he has blessed me with.

"I am now focusing on performing for my club and making sure I get on the plane (to Brazil)."

PA

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