Eric Dier says it makes sense for England to play two high-profile friendlies, against England and Germany, in order to get the best out of the side.
While there is the potential for a backlash from the British media depending on the kind of performance and result Gareth Southgate’s side are able to achieve over the course of the two games, the Tottenham midfielder is looking forward to playing.
Southgate’s team, who secured their participation in the 2018 World Cup in Russia as group winners, will want to continue their good form.
And ahead of facing Germany at Wembley on Friday, Dier said: “I think the manager has already said that if we are going to play friendlies he wants to be playing the very best nations in the world and to challenge ourselves and I think that is the right mentality.
“These are two really big friendlies. I don’t think there is ever going to be a friendly between England and Germany so we are really looking forward to it.”
He added: “I think the minute we qualified we had to start our focus on the World Cup.
“Everything we do from now onwards is with the World Cup in mind, so we are going to prepare for it in the best way we possibly can and that starts on Friday.
“This is quite a new group that has come together since the Euros, lots of new faces, quite a young team, so I think the margin for progression is huge.”