Pressure is on England, admits Jagielka

The defender insists the Three Lions are in confident mood ahead of their final two group games and believes in-form striker Daniel Sturridge will take some stopping
Everton defender Phil Jagielka admits the pressure is on England as they prepare for their crucial World Cup 2014 qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland.

The Three Lions must win both games to be certain of qualification but Jagielka says the squad are confident ahead of Friday’s clash with Montenegro at Wembley.

"When the group was drawn there was always a chance it would come down to games like this. It's a positive camp at the moment,” he told reporters.

8/1 Montenegro are 8/1 with BetVictor to beat England
"The pressure is on, there's no hiding from that. But I'd much rather be here than cheering them on from home.”

England drew 1-1 with Montenegro when the two sides last met back in March and Jagielka says the team know they are in for a tough test

"As a team they have a fantastic unit," he says. "They put us under a lot of pressure, they have players starting to play in the best leagues in the world. As a nation they are progressing."

However, Jagielka is backing England's in-form strikers Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney to inspire the Three Lions at Wembley.

"None of us in the game are surprised by Sturridge's form. He's playing with confidence and it makes him a real handful," he said.

"It's important Roy has attacking options and they are looking sharp after training today."

Roy Hodgson’s men will be without defender Ashley Cole for the clash because of a rib injury but Jagielka says Everton team-mate Leighton Baines is a fine replacement.

“Ashley Cole has done a fantastic job," he added. "If Baines does get a chance to play I'm sure he won't let us down.

"He's a fantastic defender and a fantastic attacking threat as well."