England – and former Wigan Athletic loan star Harry Maguire – have nothing to fear as they aim for World Cup glory, because of the huge momentum behind them.
That’s the verdict of Peter Reid, part of Paul Cook’s backroom staff at Wigan, who experienced a similar experience at Mexico ‘86, when England went all the way to the quarter-finals before losing to eventual winners Argentina.
The ‘Class of 2018’ are now through to the last eight, where they’ll face Sweden on Saturday, and Reid says they have nothing to fear.
“I think football is all about winning, which breeds confidence, and momentum,” he told the Wigan Post.
“Hopefully England can keep on doing that, for as long as they can in the competition.
“The other thing I like about this England team is it’s got pace all across the park.
“We haven’t done anything yet, but I think cautious optimism is the way to describe it.”
Continuity has also underpinned this England campaign, with Gareth Southgate having seemingly found a settled first XI and formation.
Reid, however, is confident the squad’s strength in depth will also stand them in good stead, with quality players waiting to come in across the board should the need arise.
“In every tournament – and you can go back all the way to 1966 – teams can change and develop as the tournament goes on,” he acknowledged.
“Players who are not in the side at the beginning can end up being integral parts at the end. In 1986, I got in when Bryan Robson was injured and Ray Wilkins was sent off...Peter Beardsley also came in.
“This squad has strength in depth, and Gareth will be stressing to the lads...if and when I need you, just make sure you’re ready.”
England against Sweden is the third quarter-final, on Saturday at 3pm, with Russia playing Croatia later at 7pm.
Before that, Uruguay play France at 3pm tomorrow, with Brazil facing Roberto Martinez’s Belgium at 7pm.