LIVERPOOL winger Stewart Downing insists England still boast the talent to make a big impression at Euro 2012.
The £20million man is one of six Reds players heading to Poland today as Roy Hodgson’s squad step up their preparations for next Monday’s opening group game against France.
A string of injuries and a lack of time following Hodgson’s appointment have contributed to low expectation levels going into the tournament.
However, Downing believes that could work to England’s advantage as they look to prove their critics wrong.
“The pressure is off us, nobody thinks we will get beyond the group stages,” he said.
“But we’ve got some top players and teams won’t fancy playing us.
“You’ve got to give it a go, haven’t you? We’ve looked organised and hard to break down against two good teams so far. Sometimes that’s what it takes in tournaments.
“We’ve won two games out of two under Roy Hodgson and if we did that in the group stages we’ll be in the quarter-finals.
“But the key is to get off to a good start. If we start well, we’ve got a chance. Nobody is giving us a prayer but if we play to the best of our ability, we can come home as heroes.”