Lescott: Tough World Cup qualifiers could be positive for England

Top spot in Group H is still up for grabs as Three Lions head into their next qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro in March, with the latter likely to have an advantage
England centre-back Joleon Lescott believes that a struggle for World Cup qualification could benefit the national team if they do indeed qualify for the tournament in Brazil in 2014.

Group H rivals Montenegro are favourites to take top spot after the next set of games when they face San Marino, who are yet to win, in November, while England are not back in qualifying action until March.

6/1 England are 6/1 not to qualify for World Cup 2014 with bet365
And Lescott believes that the added incentive to win their remaining games will be good for the squad, should they qualify for Brazil 2014.

"In previous qualifiers, we have strolled through and not looked as effective when we've got there," he told The Sun.

"Maybe if we struggle to get there, but we do get to Brazil, hopefully it will be an easier campaign.

"We knew it was going to be tough against Poland. It is not an easy place to come to but we dug in to get a point."

Lescott is also determined to forge a defensive partnership with former Everton team-mate Phil Jagielka, following John Terry's international retirement.

"If the manager believes me and Jagielka can make the positions ours, then great and hopefully we can do that," he added.

"We grew up together and there is a trust."