England captain Steven Gerrard has called upon the players to 'seize the opportunity' in tonight's Euro 2012 quarter final against Italy, and prove their critics wrong.
England have been beaten in three successive tournaments at that juncture under Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Gerrard said: "In previous tournaments we just haven't shown what we are capable of. But our performances are getting stronger in this competition.
"That is what gives me the belief and confidence that we can end this hoodoo that people talk about.
– England captain Steven Gerrard
"seize the moment, seize the opportunity, because from experience, I know they don`t come around very often."
"I get told that not many of the current players have figured in quarter-finals, but they are all big-game players and are aware of what is required.
"It is important they seize the moment, seize the opportunity, because from experience, I know they don`t come around very often.
"It is important nobody leaves anything out on the pitch and show the critics we are good enough to compete at this level."
Gerrard knows England will have to contain Mario Balotelli if he is recalled to the starting line-up by the Italians.
The controversial Manchester City man came off the bench to score against the Republic of Ireland on Monday, and is rarely far from the action.
Gerrard said: "We all know about Mario, we watch him week in and week out in the Premier League. He`s an excellent and dangerous player.
"He is someone we will have to take extra care of if he is chosen, and we will have to try and contain him tomorrow night."