England news

Defence not an option for Walcott

England winger expects tough test against Ukraine

ESPN staff

Theo Walcott has insisted England will not sit back and play for a point in their final Group D game against Ukraine.

- Group Permutations

A thrilling 3-2 win over Sweden, which Walcott had a huge hand in with a goal and an assist, has placed England's qualification destiny in their own hands. Provided they avoid defeat against the co-hosts, England will progress to the quarter-finals.

Ukraine also have their own destiny in their own hands, as if they beat England they will advance from Group D. With all options open, England could be forgiven for sitting back but that will not be the case, according to Arsenal flyer Walcott.

"They need to win, we need a draw, but we will not go out there looking for a draw," Walcott said. "We want to go out and try and win."

The Donbass Arena in Donetsk is an intimidating place and Walcott expects the home fans to try and make life difficult for England.

"It will be a tough occasion," Walcott said. "Being the hosts they will have all the support behind them. They have nothing to lose, so we have got to be at our best to beat them."

Reflecting on his role in climbing off the bench and inspiring England, Walcott said: "I've obviously been disappointed that I haven't played, but I've been training hard and it's not about the starting line-up, it's a whole squad thing. I was sharp warming up and you need to be sharp on the pitch because at this level it's really, really tough. To make my first appearance in such a high-profile arena means so much because it's been a long time waiting.

"I was ready and it is nice to be a part of something. Hopefully I can push on and face Ukraine now."


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