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Hart: Qualification is still in our hands

ESPN staff
June 2, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Joe Hart is confident England will qualify for the World Cup in Brazil © PA Photos
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England goalkeeper Joe Hart has insisted the Three Lions are not living "in fear" of missing out on next year's World Cup finals.

But friendly opponent, Brazilian David Luiz, quickly hit back declaring that England's lack of winning culture will lead them to their ruin if they do qualify for Brazil 2014.

England are preparing to play Brazil in the Maracana stadium and the chances of the visitors being a force next year has been a hot topic, with young star Neymar believing the Three Lions were not worthy of being thought of as contenders.

But before England can even think of the finals, they must first qualify, a feat that is not set in stone with Montenegro holding the automatic qualifying spot in England's group.

However, Hart believes the team holds their destinies in their own hands.

"You don't live in fear," Hart said. "If we do win all our games which is perfectly in our power to do then we will be back here in Brazil.

"Unfortunately we have not got the results we wanted in all the games but we have left ourselves in a good position to finish strongly, we have good home games to play.

"Hopefully we can win all of them and then have a tough game in Ukraine and then it will take care of itself. It's hard but we are up there and we believe we can do it, we have beaten Brazil, we beat Spain and got a few good results in the Euros last year."

But should England be back in Brazil next year, not many of the locals will be tipping them for glory, with Chelsea defender Luiz joining his compatriot Neymar in dismissing their chances.

"I have come into a national team which is used to winning things," he said in The Sun. "England do not win titles. The mentality of winning a tournament is not there and that is difficult.

"The problem is they do not win anything. I have watched them in previous tournaments and things have not always gone well for them.

"But, I actually think England are a good side. Neymar said some things, but he has been playing in Brazil and is now going to Barcelona.

"I'm not sure Neymar actually knows much about English football or whether he knows any of the players. Why should he? His comments don't surprise me."

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