Phil Jones feels that if England do not believe that they can win the World Cup then there is no point in competing.
The Three Lions face Chile at Wembley fresh from confirming their place in Brazil next summer with morale-boosting victories over Montenegro and Poland.
England have not ventured past the quarter-finals of a major tournament outside the country since a semi-final berth in 1990 but Jones feels that the talent of the players available to Roy Hodgson can improve on that record.
"I remember the 2002 World Cup," the Manchester United man told reporters. "I remember going into school and they used to get the drums out watching every game.
"That was for us to get the atmosphere! I don't play them but you've got to get into it, haven't you?
"They're great memories and I loved watching them, with the flags and everything, but I'd say 2000 was my first real memory of an England tournament - being in tears in the back garden when we went out.
"I think we've come on leaps and bounds as a country in the last five or six years. We've really started to perform well in every game and take a lot of positives out of every game.
"Of course it's a mentality thing. If you don't believe you can go there and do well there's no point in going, but ability does help as well.
"Hopefully, whoever is selected to be on that plane can go and put a show on. There's always pressure on you but hopefully we will do well."
Jones recently garnered praise for his performance in the centre of midfield for Manchester United in their victory over table-toppers Arsenal but, while the 21-year-old knows that his versatility is an asset, he is keen to cement his place in the heart of England's back four.
He continued: "I've always said I want to establish myself as a centre-back although I feel playing in numerous positions can only help me when hopefully I do go back there.
"That's been the target since I broke into Blackburn's first team. Hopefully I can do that.
"I think the boss here sees me at centre-half but we have some top, top players in the squad. It's never going to be easy to break in. Hopefully, if I keep playing well, I can push myself in there."