England's Under-20s confront Egypt in Bursa on Saturday convinced they will finally end a winless streak at the junior World Cup finals that stretches back 16 years and as many games to guarantee a place in the knockout phase of the tournament.
Peter Taylor's squad have drawn their first two games, against Iraq and Chile, to sit third in Group E going into their match against Egypt, who are pointless at the foot of the section. Although an inability to exploit periods of dominant play in both of their games to date has been a cause of some frustration within the party, there is belief, too, that they can build on the improved performance against the South Americans to force passage into the next stage.
"The way we finished the game against Chile, we know we're capable of doing what we have to do and winning this match," said the Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane, who scored his side's second-half equaliser in Anatalya on Wednesday. "It's not about feeling under pressure: all the lads here know what we're capable of, where we stand, and what we can achieve. We know we could have got more out of the two games we've had – we were unlucky not to win both – but we have to learn from that and take the positives from both the performances.
"We're here believing we can win this tournament. I know people point to our record in the competition over the years, and say it should be more about an education, but this is a good group of players and a tournament that's actually really big. Everyone wants to be here, wants to do well and, if we get the win we need this weekend, it's anyone's game. Egypt will be a good side but, if we play to our capabilities, we'll have enough to beat them."
Kane, who has impressed in a lone forward role with Everton's Ross Barkley operating in support, is one of the few members of Taylor's tourists who boasts senior experience at a relatively high level, the Spurs forward having spent time on loan at Millwall and Leicester in the Championship and, albeit briefly, Norwich in the top flight.
He has yet to discuss his prospects for next season at White Hart Lane with André Villas-Boas but intends to report back for pre-season training upon the conclusion of England's involvement in Turkey, with another loan move anticipated for the player, who turns 20 next month.
"I'd hope to make my mark but we'll see what happens," said Kane. "I'll certainly return from these finals with more experience – having had a very different experience, too – not least from having played against different kinds of teams. You learn from that, and it'll help my development. I'll take everything I gain here and it will benefit my career.
"Everyone who is here is looking to get into the first team at their current clubs, looking to impress and we all know people are watching this competition. The better we do here, the further we go in the competition, the more people notice you and the better effect it will have on your career as a whole."