Goalkeeper Joe Hart said England "must perform" when they face leaders Montenegro in a European zone Group H World Cup qualifier in Podgorica on Tuesday.
England could be either one point clear or five points behind Montenegro depending on the outcome of Tuesday's match and Hart, reduced to a spectator in Friday's 8-0 thrashing of minnows San Marino, said: "Tuesday is big, an exciting game for us. We are getting closer to the World Cup finals.
"We've got to perform."
England let a two-goal lead slip in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro in Podgorica 17 months ago, the hosts recovering to a 2-2 draw in a match where visiting striker Wayne Rooney was sent off.
"Maybe we could be accused of taking our foot off the pedal as we let a 2-0 advantage slip away last time against them when we needed just a point," Hart said.
"That is not going to be the case this time. We've got a job on our hands in an intimidating arena, but we've definitely got the capabilities.
"We go there with the intention of doing well against a good nation.
"Brazil is a long way off, and I'm not going to get carried away thinking about that, but hopefully with a few wins we can start doing that."
Hart said his approach remained the same regardless of the quality of England's opponents.
"It's no different to me. I treat all games the same. Just because I might have had little to do on Friday, I'm not going to be asleep on Tuesday.
"It's the same build-up, same hype, same adrenalin, whoever you play against."
Meanwhile England Midfielder James Milner said he too was looking forward to Tuesday's challenge.
"These are the sort of games you enjoy playing in, with the crowd on your back, and when you are getting a lot of stick," he explained.
"We will know it well from having been there before. It will be tough.
"It is never easy qualifying for a major tournament. We know Montenegro are a good team and they showed that in their qualifying campaign.
"But we are thinking positively."