England goalkeeper Joe Hart refuted a suggestion his side were going to get heavily beaten by world champions Spain in an eagerly-anticipated friendly at Wembley after being shorn of a number of senior players.
Since winning the World Cup in 1966, England have only beaten the reigning world champion twice - a 2-0 win over West Germany in 1975 and a 3-1 win over Argentina in 1980 - and not many people give them a chance of adding to that short list on Saturday.
For various reasons, England will be without skipper John Terry, striker Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and even bright young prospect Jack Wilshere, but Hart appeared astonished at the assertion that England were in line for a "hiding".
"No way, no way, there is no way we are going to look at this game like that. There would be no point in turning up on Saturday if we felt like that," he told reporters at England's team hotel in Watford, north of London.
"We have got some great quality and great young lads who are going to get an opportunity on Saturday and we are really looking forward to testing ourselves. It's going to be tough, but it is going to be tough for Spain as well.
"We have got a lot of quality players who may not yet be established but have the potential to do that in the next couple of years."
As usual, the build-up to the game has been a typical soap opera as far as England are concerned with skipper Terry being investigated by the police and the FA over an alleged racist insult to Anton Ferdinand, the brother of his long-term England defensive partner Rio. He denies wrongdoing.
Rooney is missing because of what the player himself described as his "idiotic" red card against Montenegro in England's last Euro 2012 qualifier a month ago, but Hart said the off-field distractions have not interfered with preparations.
"You just have to go in and concentrate. We have a big game on Saturday and on Tuesday [against Sweden] and that's the only way you can look at it," he vowed.
"Obviously a lot surrounds it, but that's football nowadays. What's on the field and what's off the field is what makes it so interesting and I think you have have to deal with it.
"That's what separates the good players from the very good players - you just have to shut it out and your main focus is the game on Saturday and that is what we are building up to."
Spain, who like England qualified as group winners for Euro 2012, have won the last three meetings between the sides without conceding a goal in a 1-0 win in Madrid in 2004, a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in 2007 and a 2-0 win in Seville in 2009.
England's last victory came in a 3-0 win at Villa Park in a friendly in February 2001 and England won their last match against Spain at the old Wembley on penalties when they beat them in the quarter-finals of Euro 96 after a 0-0 draw.comments