World Cup: Phil Jagielka backs England to turn on the style

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Phil Jagielka is not only confident England will progress to the World Cup knock-out stages but thinks they can do so in style.

The Three Lions excited, enthralled but ultimately lost their tournament opener against Italy deep in the heart of Amazon on Saturday evening.

England's Raheem Sterling is held by Italy's Antonio Candreva

England's Raheem Sterling is held by Italy's Antonio Candreva

Goals from Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli either side of a Daniel Sturridge effort saw the Azzurri run out 2-1 victors at the Arena Amazonia, after which manager Roy Hodgson admitted England now need to win their two remaining games.

Uruguay are next up in Sao Paulo on Thursday before the Three Lions take on Costa Rica - matches former Sheffield United centre-back Jagielka is confident of winning and keen to do so in style.

“This is international football and, especially in a World Cup match, unless you do not concede and score goals, you will not win games,” the Everton defender said.

“That is the obvious way of looking at it. But if you take a step back and look at the performance as a whole I think there were positives, but the result makes these last two games that little bit more interesting.

“Mathematically, there could be a draw and then a high-scoring win in the final game but, if we want it in our own hands and we want to qualify in a little bit of style, we want to win these last two games.”

If they attack anything like they did in Manaus, their final two Group D games should certainly prove interesting.

Against Italy, England were arguably at their most impressive going forwards since Euro 2004 and Jagielka believes the future looks bright with the likes of Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley.

“If we take away the result and look at some of the performances, the exciting players we had out on the pitch, the future is looking good but we have still got to do well in the present,” he said.

“If we had lost and not gone for it and scored goals or created chances, these next two games would have looked bleak.

“Once we recover and look forward there will be a lot of positive things, and hopefully the camp will be confident to put in some good performances.”

They will also need to show their mettle at the back to keep Uruguay’s attack quiet in Sao Paulo.

While Oscar Tabarez’s defence looked susceptible in the 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica, so too did England’s at times against Italy.

It was the first time the Three Lions had lost when Jagielka and Gary Cahill were playing together, with the defensive pairing needing to quickly regroup and prepare for the likes of Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlan and, should fitness allow it, Luis Suarez.

Asked how you deal with the in-form Liverpool striker if he played, Jagielka said: “By trying to keep him as far away from the goal as possible.

“I do not think Uruguay are a one-man team. It would be disrespectful to say they are putting all their hopes on Suarez.

“They are in a pretty similar situation to us now. I presume the game will be exciting and both teams need a win.

“I think confidence-wise we will have more and if the attacking boys keep playing as well as they did and take our chances.”