Wayne Rooney hailed what he believes are “good times” for England after the Three Lions booked their place at next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
The striker’s header set Roy Hodgson’s men on their way to a 2-0 win over Poland at Wembley which ensured they topped Group H.
Progression was secured by victory over Montenegro on Friday and this victory, and Rooney was a pleased man - especially after captain Steven Gerrard put the icing on the cake late on.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game, they had a couple of breaks and could have scored, but we played some great stuff in the first and second half,” he said. “Getting the goal gave us some belief, the confidence to go on. We believed we could win and then Stevie’s goal has seen us qualify.
“We have a good blend, are looking forward, excited and these are good times for England.”
Captain Gerrard, who led from the front as he has done throughout an unbeaten qualiftying campaign, added: “Tonight we started really well. The big lesson is to play better in the second half. Against better teams we might get hurt. We need to keep the ball better.
“But what we have shown is, when the going gets tough, we don’t concede goals.”
England have faced some media and fan criticism throughout the campaign, but Gerrard said: “Since I made my England debut there has always been criticism from the outside.
“What it makes you do is work harder to prove people wrong.”