London: England`s shaky defence can be proud of tightening up after a dismal World Cup campaign, defender Gary Cahill said on Tuesday.
England finished bottom of their group after taking just one point and conceding four goals in three games at the tournament in Brazil in June, finishing with a disappointing 0-0 draw against Costa Rica.
Roy Hodgson`s men have since enjoyed four successive victories and have not conceded a goal. Three of those wins have come in Euro 2016 qualifiers, propelling them to the top of their group.
England have been criticised for a series of cautious displays but Cahill and his team mates are happy they are becoming more frugal.
"Five clean sheets now, it`s something that we`re really proud of," Cahill told Sky Sports. "From the third game in the World Cup onwards, (it is) something we`re pleased with.
"As a group we felt that we needed to tighten up after the summer. Leading up to the World Cup we did well but the crunch games were obviously in the summer (at the tournament).
"We`ve come under a little bit of criticism so it was important we tightened that up. Everyone has bought into the way we want to play, we`ve changed the shape slightly, I think that`s worked really well for us.
"It`s not just the back four and the goalkeeper, we`ve got players that work really hard in front of us and that`s always important no matter how you set up the team. You need everyone to chip in defensively," he added.
England host Slovenia in a qualifier at Wembley on Saturday before visiting British rivals Scotland in a friendly three days later.