England face tough test against Panama, says Harold Cummings

Panama are going to Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday “to play hard” against England, defender Harold Cummings has warned.

England can book their place in the World Cup knockout phases if they win and Belgium beat Tunisia, while Panama need to avoid defeat if they are to stand a chance of progressing to the knockout phases.

Panama have made a name for themselves as one of the most physical sides at the tournament after accumulating five bookings in their 3-0 defeat to Belgium, and Cummings suggests there is more to come.

“We are going there to play hard,” Cummings told Press Association Sport ahead of the Group G clash.

“We are going there to compete. We will do our job against any team we face.

“England have players that are competing at a really high level, and I think that is an advantage they have over us.

“It is going to be man versus man and we are not going to look at the names on the back of the England jerseys.”

Cummings, who plays for MLS side San Jose Earthquakes, is not underestimating Harry Kane after his double clinched England a 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.

“Harry Kane is one of the best number nines in the world, so it is going to be a tough job,” said Cummings, who has made the World Cup after breaking his leg in an accident at home last year.

“But we have prepared for this and all of us on the national team have worked hard to take on this challenge.

“It is a good platform for us to show the world that Panama is ready for this level of competition.”