Jesse Lingard insists no one in the England squad would shy away from taking a penalty should the team have to cope with yet another dreaded shoot-out at the World Cup in Russia.
With the competition now at its knockout stage, extra-time and penalties – so often England’s nemesis at previous World Cups and European tournaments – could become a factor.
Asked if the squad had a plan of who would take penalties in a shoot-out, Lingard said at an England press conference on Sunday: “Not at this current moment.
“We don’t need to change too much. No matter what round we are in we are going to play with no fear and play with that freedom. Why change?”
Next up for England are Colombia in the last 16 on Tuesday and Lingard says Gareth Southgate’s men did not give any thought to which was the ‘better’ side of the draw, with defeat to Belgium having paired them with the dangerous South Americans.
Argentina and Portugal have already been eliminated in the first knockout round, meaning early departures for their respective star players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Victory over Colombia would leave England facing a quarter-final against Sweden or Switzerland.
The other half of the draw still features Brazil, France and Uruguay, but Lingard is adamant those considerations played no part in how the Three Lions approached their match against Belgium.
“For us, it is game by game, and see where it takes us,” Lingard said.
“We have to concentrate one game at a time. We are going to have to play the big teams sooner or later, and if you want to be the best team in the world, you have got to beat the big teams.
“We are not really fussed what side (of the draw) we got chosen on.”
Lingard has been one of the stand-out England players in the tournament so far, with his form highlighted by a brilliant goal in the 6-1 Group G rout of Panama.
“It was an amazing feeling,” he added.
“Of course you think about it (lifting the World Cup), but you can’t get too carried away at this current stage.
“Colombia are a tough side, and we will have to be at our best on the day to do the job and move on to the next round.
“They are a great side, a tough side. We are aware of that, but our qualities and our threats can cause some problems as well.”
Lingard was asked about his former Manchester United colleague and Colombia striker Radamel Falcao.
“He’s a great finisher,” Lingard said. “In and around the box, he’s lethal. We will be aware of that.”