Later today, England will learn the immediate price they'll have to pay for failing to beat Slovakia. The long-term damage, should they progress beyond the first knockout round, is already known as they're in the same side of the bracket as France, Spain, Germany, and Italy. If England are to make a deep run, they'll have to face a couple of them in all likelihood.
England haven't made it past the quarterfinals of a major tournament since Euro 96, but despite the frustrations of the group games, Vice-captain Gary Cahill remains confident in their chances going forward.
"The way we're playing we shouldn't fear anyone. I definitely feel like we are going to give someone a real beating soon. I hope that we do that."
"We have had six shots against us in the three group games and had over 20 shots ourselves against Slovakia. In terms of possession, dominating the game and creating chances, we have to be pleased."
"But we are also frustrated, we had so much possession in the second half and I have not been involved in such a one-sided game as that for a long, long time. To not get the win at the end is frustrating."
"But not finishing top may not be the end of the world. Who knows how Portugal's group will pan out? That group is very strange, Portugal could finish first, second or third. But if we do face them it will be far from an easy game. I feel that they have yet to get going and they have some great players."
Should Portugal (vs. Hungary) and Iceland (vs. Austria) both win on Wednesday, Cahill would indeed have to face Cristiano Ronaldo & Co on Monday. All four teams are still in play in Group F and all could conceivably face England in the Round of 16. Regardless, Cahill's welcoming the relatively lengthy rest (especially for an international tournament), in no small part to give him some time to recover from re-aggravating his back (or hip?) injury in the game against Slovakia.
"I think it's good for me to have a week to shrug it off. I was struggling a bit in the first half, but the second half was okay. When you have the England shirt and armband on, you don't want to come off."
England's Brave Gary Cahill, ready to make some better memories for England fans.
"We are not shying away from the fact we wanted to finish top of the group and we know the next round will be a big game. But we will go out and play in the same manner as we have done in the last three matches because we have dominated all of them."
-Gary Cahill; source: Guardian