I said in my last blog that England have to reach the quarter-finals at Euro 2016 and there can be no excuses for failing to make the last eight.
Winning the group – which they are odds-on favourites to do – will see Roy Hodgson’s charges paired with a third-place finisher in the round of 16. And even if they end up in second place in the pool, they should still advance beyond the second round, where they would face the runner-up from Group F.
Unless Portugal have a shocker, that’s likely to be Austria.
If the third team gets out of England’s pool, a group winner will lie in wait, but hopefully England shouldn’t have to contemplate that route. At any tournament, avoiding defeat in the first game is simply vital, and I am confident the Three Lions will manage that.
I’ve not been very impressed with Russia in their warm-up games - they will sit deep and look to frustrate England. Their game plan will be to go for the draw.
While England would settle for a point too, they have the quality up top to score against any team in the tournament. Whether they will do that at my old stomping ground, Stade Velodrome, depends if Roy gets his tactics right.
The Portugal friendly left him with more questions than answers, so hopefully he’s been able to iron everything out on the training field this week.