|2018 Fifa World Cup on the BBC|
|Host: Russia Dates: 14 June – 15 July|
|Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.|
Ashley Young expects England to shed their tag of slow starters and hit the ground running when they open their World Cup campaign against Tunisia on Monday.
England last opened a major tournament with a win when they beat Paraguay 1-0 at the 2006 World Cup.
And Manchester United’s Young expects this England squad to reverse that trend in the searing heat of Volgograd.
“It is always important to make a good start in a tournament,” he said.
Speaking after England’s first training session in Zelenogorsk and following arrival at their hotel in Repino on Monday, Young said: “We want to get off to winning ways. We know each game is going to be tough but we’re fully prepared for that first game.
“You can talk about what has happened historically. We are here, looking to do well in training and win our first match.
“If you start like that in tournaments it could put teams on the back foot and that’s what we’re looking to do in the first game.”
Young says England players are pleased with the facilities at their hotel and at their training base, where they held an open session yesterday. They were welcomed by local officials then spent time at the end signing autographs.
“The facilities are brilliant,” said Young. “Everything is there for us. The Football Association has done a magnificent job for us.
“There are plenty of good facilities in the hotel to make it feel like you’re at home.
“It is a fantastic environment with lots of things to do in there. A lot has been said about getting bored but there will be nothing like that at all. The boys won’t be getting bored in the hotel – there are plenty of things to do.”
Young said that while there is always pressure on an England squad at the start of a World Cup, he is confident Gareth Southgate’s squad can cope with it and the over-riding current emotion is excitement.
“We just want to get out here and get the tournament started. Everything is there for us,” said Young.
“There is a feeling of excitement around the squad and the staff. We are fully prepared and ready for the tournament to start now.
“There is always pressure. There is more pressure because it’s a World Cup but I think every player in this squad has dealt with pressure and is able to go and handle it. It is a young squad but also a squad with experience as well.
“When you’re a kid you want to play in the big tournaments and I’m as excited as anyone else out there.”
As the oldest member of the squad, Young’s experience at the top level helps keep him calm before major competitions.
“I don’t get nervous. I just prepare in the right way. This is the biggest competition in world football and you want to go and impress and we are looking to do that,” he added.
“You can tell in training, the togetherness we have. If we can take that on to the pitch it can only stand us in good stead.”