England need to attack Italy claims Ross Barkley
The bookies expect a low-scoring encounter in Manaus but Barkley wants Three Lions to set the tone
June 10th, 2014
England kick off their 2014 World Cup campaign on Saturday night when they go up against Euro 2012 finalists Italy, with Roy Hodgson close to choosing the eleven players that will line up against the Azzurri.
Ross Barkley has played his way into contention thanks to some bright displays in the three friendly matches against Peru, Ecuador and Honduras, with the Everton youngster calling on England to show no fear when they face the Italians.
“It’s very important when you go into a tournament, to set the tone in the first game,” he said.
“You have got to start with a good result, go into the game prepared and looking to win the game.
“With all the big-name players it’s going to be a big test playing against Uruguay but if we get a good result against Italy we can take confidence into the second game.
“We need to be positive throughout the group stage.”
Barkley is expected to be on the bench against Italy although there is a strong chance of the midfielder making a substitute appearance as the conditions start to wear out the starting XI.
“That is what I dream about, playing against the best players in the world,” he told evertontv.
“It’s every kid’s dream to be doing things like that and hopefully I will get the chance.
“I feel ready for anything. It is football, it is not life or death.
“You have to go on the pitch and get a result and focus on what you have to do on the pitch and not get distracted.
“The top players produce it week in week out and they are out there every week giving the same performances, if not scoring then setting goals up, always fighting and getting results.
“I will learn a lot. I went to the World Cup with the Under-20s last summer and I learned a lot there – about the (tournament) environment, playing against the big countries.
“I’ve never been to South America, (I will learn about) the temperatures, preparing for games, being away from home; it will be a good learning curve for me and a great experience.
“After every tournament I feel I have learned something and I come back wanting to progress.”