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European Qualifiers Group E

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European Qualifiers Group E

Johnson targets improvement

England defender Glen Johnson is hopeful the nation can finally end their major tournament hoodoo and go beyond the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

Last Updated: 26/05/13 at 16:44 Post Comment

Glen Johnson: Expecting improvement from England

Glen Johnson: Expecting improvement from England

Johnson believes successive England squads have not enjoyed the breaks in tournament football in recent times.

But the Liverpool full-back insists England have plenty of talent to choose from for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, should they qualify.

Johnson said: "With the squad we have got we can definitely do better in a major tournament.

"In each game there are tiny little elements that decide each game.

"A matter of inches can determine if you win, but ratio-wise we have been generally going out around the quarter-final stages so you certainly do want to improve on that."

Meanwhile, Johnson is relishing the prospect of playing against Brazil in the rebuilt Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro next week.

"I can guarantee that there aren't many players in that squad who have played in that stadium so I am sure that the lads will be looking forward to it," Johnson added.

"It will be nice to have it on the CV. Definitely. I would say Brazil are the most romantic of teams, purely for variety."

He added: "They could play their third team and still be very competitive in each major tournament. They have got some unbelievable players.

"Some players don't stay around as long as they should do, but the next one that steps in will be just as good so they are always fun to watch."

Before England board a plane to South America, they play what promises to be an entertaining friendly against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on Wednesday night.

Should Johnson take to the pitch he will earn his 47th cap, edging him closer to his half-century.

The former Chelsea defender has pretty much made the right-back position his own since Gary Neville last played an international game in 2007.

While rival Kyle Walker has had an indifferent season at Tottenham, Johnson has excelled at Liverpool under new manager Brendan Rodgers, and he now believes he is playing the best football of his 11-year professional career.

"Most people say I'm hitting that age where I should be at my prime so I am pleased with how things are going," he added.

"I only missed two games in the Premier League this year and that's nice."

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