Steven Gerrard warned his players that there will be no hiding for them if England fails to qualify for the Round of 16 in the World Cup. The Three Lions after losing their opening group game are pitted against Uruguay in a must-win tie on Thursday at the Arena de Sao Paulo.
England will be knocked out of the tournament, if they lose against the South Americans and captain Gerrard said the players don't want to enjoy a long frustrating summer.
"It was important for them to realise what is at stake and how important this game is," Gerrard said. "It wasn't a message to scare any of the lads but a wake-up call to everyone in the room, the staff and the players. We have got a must-win scenario."
"It could be a terrible long, frustrating summer if we don't get it right," he added. "There is no hiding place for a player when you go out of a tournament. It can be tough as a player and it can take an awful long time to get over it. I have been there. I know what that feeling is about and that is the feeling that I don't want come Friday morning. We need everyone focused and right on it on Thursday."
The Liverpool midfielder pointed out England's performance in the qualifiers, when they managed to clinch victories in important encounters. Gerrard is hopeful that his players will display their best performance in the upcoming fixtures.
"In the qualification, we probably put our two best performances together when the pressure was really on. That's maybe because you realise what is at stake and you don't really get a second chance."
"I'm hoping that is going to be the case in the next two games, but they are tricky opponents that we are going to come up against. The lads still have that confidence and belief. I haven't seen any negativity or anyone lacking any belief since the Italy game."
Uruguay feature Edinson Cavani, Gaston Ramirez, Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan, who are more than capable of unsettling any team's defence. Gerrard insisted that with such attacking talent Uruguay are a real threat and they have to defend really well against La Celeste.
"For me the key in this game is how we defend because Uruguay's strengths are in their front players," he said. "Cavani, Suarez, Forlan and Ramirez. They are the key players who can hurt this England team. It is no good us being really good going forward on the break if we can't defend properly."