Gordon Strachan might have likened England to 'Manchester United, Chelsea and Juventus' over the weekend but England manager Gareth Southgate disagrees. He watched Spain annihilate Italy on Saturday night and conceded that his side were nowhere near as good as the 2010 World Cup winners.
A 3-0 win over Lithuania has fuelled a belief Gordon Strachan's side may make a late charge towards a World Cup play-off berth.
Scotland are four points adrift of Slovakia in Group F but the wider picture is suddenly more positive. Slovakia visit Wembley on Monday and Glasgow next month. Assistance from England would further boost the mood.
"England need to do themselves a favour because if they don't do well and get beaten, Slovakia go top," Strachan said. "When you're England you have no option but to win games. It's like being Manchester United or Chelsea or Juventus. You've got to win games," Strachan explained, as quoted by the Guardian.
"England have got to be on their toes because if they lose to Slovakia that'll put them a point behind and they don't want to be in that position."
Southgate also said it would be unfair to expect him to take this young England squad and turn them into serious contenders after less than a year in charge as reported by the Dailymail.
"We're a work in progress. We have some players like Phil (Jones) who have won trophies, but a lot who have won none. We have nowhere near the number of caps. We have exciting young players who can be really good going forward, but will have to go through some of the hardships those Spaniards went through to get where they are.
"Look at Real Madrid and Barcelona — in the last four of the Champions League every year. None of our clubs have appeared in the last four of the Champions League for a long, long time, Chelsea aside." Gareth Southgate said.
Slovakia are a decent opponent, and they sit just two points behind England in Group F with three games to play.
With a World Cup only nine months away, progress nevertheless needs to be made.