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May 30, 2014

Sturridge praises England's mentality

Daniel Sturridge says England may not lift the World Cup in Brazil but the team will head out there knowing they have the necessary winning mentality following the 3-0 defeat of Peru.

- Brewin: Sturridge shines in win

Sturridge put the Three Lions ahead before the break at Wembley in their final friendly prior to the squad heading off to Miami for further pre-tournament preparations.

And centre-backs Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka both scored in quick succession from corners midway through the second half to give Roy Hodgson's side a confidence boost before they leave the country.

"For everyone it is not about going there [Brazil] to make the numbers up," Sturridge told ITV.

"I am a winner and the players are winners -- it doesn't mean we are going to win it out there but we are winners."

On the game, he added: "It was difficult to be fair because they defended well and they were very compact.

"We had worked very hard throughout the week and there wasn't the match sharpness as much as we would have liked.

"But it was great to be out there and we are happy with the result."

On his goal, Sturridge said: "It is not important about myself, it is about the team and our preparation; putting in a shift tactically and technically to be in the best shape for the first game."

Hodgson, meanwhile, felt his side were well worth their victory, hailing it as the perfect World Cup send-off.

"It is the perfect end to a perfect two weeks," the England manager said. "It was a wonderful send-off to the World Cup by a quite incredible crowd. It didn't look as if it would be too comfortable in the first half, but as soon as Daniel scored that wonderful goal the game wasn't in doubt.

"To do it in front of 85,000 people was a great send-off, the atmosphere was a vote of confidence.

"When you play against teams with 10 men behind the ball you have to be patient but I had no doubt we would win."

The England manager was delighted that his squad came through Friday's game against Peru without any major injuries.

"The most important thing for us was to come through it unscathed, injury-wise," he said.

The only man to suffer a slight problem was Leighton Baines, who went off with a minor calf injury.

"(Taking him off) was caution on our part," said Hodgson, who replaced Baines with debutant John Stones. "He could have continued but the game was over."

Hodgson confirmed that Phil Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Luke Shaw would all travel to Miami with the squad on Sunday despite not appearing among the substitutes.

"They'll play on Tuesday (against Ecuador)," Hodgson said. "They could have both played tonight, but I determined they'd start the game on Tuesday and we had a lot of subs on the bench. We thought they'd give them another day's training."

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