Steven Gerrard has admitted England will use the “embarrassment” of defeat against Northern Ireland to inspire them when they face Austria in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier.
Gerrard admitted Sven-Goran Eriksson’s team were desperate to erase the memory of their shock 1-0 loss at Windsor Park.
“We can’t wait to get that result out of our systems,” said the Liverpool midfielder.
“We let ourselves, the country and the fans down in Belfast and it is still fresh in our memories. It hurts.
“It’s going to be very important to bounce back. We need a performance against Austria. The three points are the most important but the fans deserve a good performance from the team.
“The players were embarrassed by the defeat in Belfast and we need to put that right. There is too much quality in our changing room to get beaten by Northern Ireland, with all due respect to them.
“Against them we had a couple of injuries and a couple of players off form but this time we are firing on all cylinders, me included, and we are a lot sharper than last time.
“I feel a lot sharper, fresher and fitter and I am happy with my form. I had a calf injury, but that is not an excuse.”
England are expected to revert to a 4-4-2 system after Eriksson was heavily criticised for using a five-man midfield in the defeat against Northern Ireland.
Gerrard said: “It is up to the manager which formation he goes with, but I find it fairly easy to play in any formation.
“You need to be able to adapt. But the manager has said he will go back to 4-4-2, and the players are happy with that.
“There was a lot of debate about formations going into the last four games.
“But if you look around the dressing room and see the quality, no matter what formation we played against Northern Ireland we should have won the game – and that goes for the same against Austria.
“To win in any international, whether it is in Belfast or Brazil, you need individuals to perform – and there were a lot of individuals who did not do that in Belfast, myself included.”
On reports that the players had no faith in Eriksson, Gerrard said: “I think that’s complete rubbish. He has certainly got my backing and all the other players I have spoken to – I think the whole squad supports the manager.
“What has been said about what happened in the dressing room has been blown out of all proportion.”