LONDON (AFP) - Rio Ferdinand has warned England that only a victory is acceptable in Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Belarus.
Fabio Capello's side extended their 100 percent start to the Group Six campaign with a 5-1 victory over Kazakhstan at Wembley on Saturday.
But Manchester United defender Ferdinand, England's stand-in captain in the absence of John Terry, believes that impressive record will count for nothing if they slip up in Minsk.
"We need to get points on the board as quickly as possible. Hopefully by the end of this week we will have four wins," Ferdinand said.
Despite the one-sided scoreline, England laboured for long periods against Kazakhstan before finally killing off the minnows, who are ranked a lowly 131st in the world, when they tired in the last 20 minutes.
Ferdinand admitted England had failed to adhere to Capello's instructions in the goalless first-half, but he took heart from the way they hit back after the break.
"We didn't implement the methods and advice the boss gave us in the first half," he said. "We didn't get the ball wide enough and weren't relaxed enough in the final third as we have been before.
"It can be a long night when international teams come to defend. We may have turned the corner because we kept plugging away and in the end we broke them down and ended up 5-1 winners."
Ferdinand knows England's winning start is a much-needed boost after the ill-fated Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, but he agrees with team-mate Frank Lampard that Capello's team are still some way short of fulfilling their potential.
"Frank gave a very honest assessment and a very true one. We all know we can play better," Ferdinand said.
"We see a lot of glimpses in training of how good we can be in but it is about implimenting that in the matches.
"We are getting there slowly but I would rather do that than get to a high point then fall off the mountain after we qualify."
Theo Walcott, England's hat-trick hero in last month's win over Croatia, is one of those who is still to reach his peak.
After his heroics in Zagreb the young Arsenal winger is now expected to produce match-winning moments in every game. He was a subdued figure against Kazakhstan and Walcott knows the Croatian treble has made him a marked man for defenders.
"It was up and down with me really but hopefully I will do a bit more in Belarus," Walcott said. "I will take the positives out of this game and try to improve on the negatives.
"The good things was at times I was getting a lot of free-kicks. The defenders kept kicking me.
"I needed to get a bit more involved in the game but that will come. I am starting to play and train with the team more so it's starting to come.
"I expect every game I'm going to get kicked so I've just got to get back up and get at them. They won't know what to do then."
With Kazakhstan's defence massed on the edge of their penalty area for much of the match, Walcott was deprived of the space he needs to thrive. He expects more opportunities to use his pace in Belarus because the hosts will have to come out and attack.
"Obviously, because it is at their place they will come at us," he said. "That will give us more space in behind which is good for us. They will be a strong team."
|W. Rooney||76' 86'|
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