Jordan Pickford says England have got better since reaching the World Cup semi-finals, and thinks they are going to continue to improve.
England play Croatia in a winner-takes-all clash in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday, with a place in the Final Four of the competition up for grabs.
Croatia beat England in the semi-finals of the World Cup and the two sides drew 0-0 in a behind-closed-doors match in Rijeka last month.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the game, goalkeeper Pickford said he thinks England’s level has increased since the summer.
“I think it had to. We want to progress as a group and progress for England and become better and better.
“We couldn’t just rest after getting knocked out in the semi-finals; that was the start to move forward and become as good as we can as a group. We are definitely progressing and the first hurdle was we wanted to beat these top teams in the world.
“Some people said we don’t beat the top teams and we know we are capable of doing it.”
Along with their draw in Croatia, England lost to Spain at Wembley before memorably beating them 3-2 in Seville.
And Pickford, who has started all three Nations League matches having also been England’s starter at the World Cup, says he still has to work hard to remain No 1.
“The gaffer has given me the shirt and I have to keep performing for Everton and England.
“I never feel it is cemented because that is when you get carried away. I have to keep it by working hard, training hard, doing the right things on the training ground and when it comes to the match showing what I have been doing in training.
“I wouldn’t say it is cemented because there is a lot of competition, but I always say to myself you only get one chance and I feel like I always take it.”