Jordan Henderson England World Cup

Jordan Henderson says England's World Cup expectations are greater than the fans'

It is exactly a year ago today [June 13] since England last lost any international – a 3-2 friendly defeat to France in Paris – and they reached for Russia with an unbeaten 10-match record in their qualifying group of eight matches and two draws.

Past disappointments in final tournaments – especially the last two in Brazil in 2014 and Euro 2016 - have resulted in most England fans reducing their expectations to an all-time low.

But Liverpool midfielder Henderson – who was in the squad in 2014 and 2016 - says the mood among Gareth Southgate’s squad is upbeat because of the quality in the squad, underlined by the warm-up wins over Nigeria and Costa Rica.

He said: "Well, we've got high expectations because we believe we have got good players.

"We believe we can do well in the competition, but it is up to us to go and show that on the pitch, keep working the way we have been and then you never know what can happen."

Henderson says that confidence should not be mistaken for complacency because their opening group game opponents Tunisia have shown in their warm-up games – two draws against Portugal and Turkey and a narrow defeat to Spain – they will not be pushovers in Volgograd on Monday.

“We know they'll be a good team,” he added. “If you look at the games they just played against Spain and Portugal, they’ve played well.

"Obviously it took Spain until the 85th minute, I think, to score, so they're a good side.

"It'll be a tough game but one that we've got to be ready for.

"We've got a good four, five days for preparation for it and we'll do everything so that when we get onto the pitch we're raring to go."

Jordan Henderson England World Cup

Jordan Henderson could start for England against Tunisia on Monday

No it wasn't me – and if it was, I still wouldn't tell you

Henderson on Rashford

The only setback so far for England during a seemingly positive three-week build-up to the World Cup has been the knee knock that Marcus Rashford picked up in a full-scale practice match at St George’s Park on Monday and which ruled him out of England’s first training session here this morning.

But Henderson jokingly denied it was him that had nobbled the Manchester United striker while backing the youngster to be ready to the Tunisia game.

"No it wasn't me – and if it was, I still wouldn't tell you. But he's not too bad, I don't think. It's a knock in training.

"I think we've still got five days before the first game so it's just a little bit of a precaution for him to make sure he is OK.

"It was a good session today. We didn’t do too much after the travelling yesterday but it is good to get out here and good to get to preparations started for the first game."

Marcus Rashford England World Cup

Marcus Rashford has suffered an injury on England duty

Henderson is battling with Tottenham's Eric Dier for the midfield ‘holding’ role but insists there is no problem between them.

"We get on well," he said. "He's a great lad and he's a fantastic player. I don't think we need to chat about it. We're professionals at the end of the day.

“It's not just me and him fighting for places, it's the whole team. There's some fantastic players within the squad and everybody wants to play, of course.

"But it is about the 23 at the end of the day and if you're going to progress through the tournament you need everyone.

"It's down to the manager to pick who his first 11 is for the first game, but it is not only that game - there's two more in the group and then hopefully more after that.

"I keep saying we need the whole squad, the whole 23, if you want to do well in a tournament and you've got to be ready if you don't play."

Eric Dier England World Cup

Eric Dier could pinch a midfield spot ahead of Jordan Henderson

"It hasn’t given me extra motivation because I always give extra, I always give more.

"I always want to play and improve as a player and that's the same for everybody."

Meanwhile, Henderson does not believe the shock dismissal of Julen Lopetegui will disrupt Spain too much – and could even make the 2010 winners even stronger.

"It's a shock, obviously, especially the day before the World Cup starts, but they're a world-class team, they've got fantastic players.

"So, I am sure they'll still be a threat - and if anything it might make them stronger to stay together."

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