England boss Roy Hodgson has admitted to remaining mentally on edge as his side head into their final Euro 2012 game - against co-hosts Ukraine - needing at least a draw to secure their place in the last eight of the competition.
The tone of upsets in Groups A and B (the elimination of Russia and Holland, respectively) and the fact that Spain and Italy in Group C had to wait till the last few minutes to confirm their progression has led the former West Bromwich boss to take absolutely no chances going into this final group fixture.
"We would all be disappointed if tomorrow night didn't go our way and we had to take the plane home. There would be an enormous amount of dissatisfaction because we believe we have done enough to go on," the Mirror quoted Hodgson as saying, "But Holland and Russia thought they could do that so it is naive to believe that just because you think you are able to do and want to do it that it will be enough."
The 64 year old Hodgson added that if England did make it to the last eight, they would announce themselves as strong contenders for the rest of the tournament.
"It's not just England who haven't always performed when the expectations were heightened. There's quite a few teams that have failed. It's a fact of life. We've come here with the England national team. We believe in ourselves and we want to do well," a United Kingdom Press Association (PA) report quoted Hodgson as saying, "In some ways it's rather nice that people back home are hoping and even believing we can do well, and we're giving them something to dream about and cling onto."
Meanwhile, the return of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney from a two match suspension will act as a morale boost for the entire team. Captain Steven Gerrard of Liverpool said he hoped Rooney would be able to steer England towards championships glory.
"Everyone knows what Wayne Rooney is all about," Gerrard said, "He certainly makes us a lot more threatening going forward and he is a world-class player. I know Wayne quite well, I am very close to him and I can see in his eyes that he is itching to get out there and perform. Hopefully, he can play very well tonight night and be the difference. I'm not going to tell Wayne not to be fired up for this game. That is what Wayne is all about, pressing, being aggressive in the right way. The reason he is world-class is because of what he has shown up to today. Obviously, we need him on the pitch. He is aware of that and he regrets the reaction when he got the suspension. I am sure he will behave himself well."