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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

England ready to 'get off to winning ways' at World Cup - Ashley Young

With their last triumph coming in 1966, can England finally silence their critics and win a major tournament?

Ahead of their Group G opener against Tunisia on Monday, England's Ashley Young said the Three Lions are ready to "get off to winning ways" at this summer's World Cup.

Gareth Southgate's youthful England were also drawn with Panama and Belgium and will be looking to improve upon a group-stage exit from the 2014 World Cup and a disappointing exit to Iceland in the quarterfinals of Euro 2016.

But Young says England are ready to rebound in Russia: "It is always important to make a good start to a tournament. You want to get off to winning ways.

"We are fully prepared and ready for that first game. You can talk about our results historically but we are here and we are looking to do well in training and do well in that first match.

"I think you can see from the last two games we have started brightly and on the front foot and if you start like that it can put teams on the back foot and that is what we are looking to do come the first game."



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After finishing unbeaten and atop their qualifying group in UEFA, England won a pair of friendly matches against Nigeria and Costa Rica in the run-up to the tournament in June, but Young says they won't take Tunisia, ranked 21st in the world by FIFA, lightly.

"I saw the game on Saturday night [Tunisia lost 1-0 to Spain] and they were good, but every team at the World Cup is a good team," said Young.

"You have to play against the team in front of you and it is going to be a tough task but we are fully prepared for that.

"Obviously there is more pressure because this is a World Cup but every player in the squad has dealt with pressure. We have to show we can handle that.

"As a kid you want to play in the biggest tournaments and I am as excited as anyone out there."

Jamie Vardy, the Leicester striker who will likely start on the bench behind captain Harry Kane, was instrumental for England at Euro 2016 and believes no matter who takes the field in Southgate's first-choice XI the entire team will need to be ready.

"We all know we are a 23-man squad and we are all here for a reason," he said. "The gaffer has picked us because he thinks we are the best the country has got. So we are all here with the same mentality, all wanting to win, all wanting to play. Unfortunately, you cannot have that all of the time -- you can only have 11 players on the pitch at any one time.

"You just have to make sure you put in the pressure on the training field and if you get given a chance, take it. We want to make sure we are here as winners. We have all won things ourselves at our respective clubs and we want to take that onto the international stage now."

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