Steven Gerrard admitted he feared being dropped by Sven-Goran Eriksson after the lowest-point of his England career in the 1-0 defeat by Northern Ireland.
Gerrard described his recent international displays as "very average", while confessing that his central midfield partnership with Frank Lampard had "not set the world alight".
However, he vowed to make amends for his own shortcomings, as well as the team's "embarrassing" display in Belfast, in the final two group ties against Austria and Poland.
Asked if he had been worried about being dropped, he admitted: "I think so. Everyone who played against Northern Ireland will be worried about whether they're going to be picked for the next two games.
"I don't think many players performed in those two games and I'm no different.
"It was the lowest point I've had with England. The Denmark game wasn't good either, getting beaten 4-1, but it was only a friendly.
"Getting beaten by Northern Ireland in a World Cup qualifier was low and I'm still hurting from it now. We can't wait until Saturday to get it out of our system.
"Do we owe the nation a performance? Yes, big time.
"The most important thing in the next two games is points but it would be nice to entertain as well and pay back the fans for that embarrassing defeat in Belfast."
Despite being below his best for England, Gerrard's performances for Liverpool have improved markedly since the game in Belfast and his place in the team is no longer in any doubt.
"My performances of late for England have been very average so I need to raise my game and help lift the team and get six points in the next two games," he said.
"Against Northern Ireland, we had a couple of injuries and a couple of players off form, but this time we are firing on all cylinders - me included - and we are a lot sharper than last time.
"I feel a lot sharper, fresher and fitter and I am happy with my form."
Gerrard admitted that with England set to revert to a 4-4-2 formation against Austria, his central midfield partnership with Lampard still needs to be worked on, with both players used to attacking roles with their club.
"The partnership can definitely improve as I don't think we've set the world alight. But you're talking about two fantastic players who will be able to adapt and make it work," he said.
"I've spoken to Frank about it a lot and we'll work on the partnership.
"Naturally, I'm a bit more defensive than Frank and maybe he's a bit more forward-thinking than me, so I think that's how it will work.
"But what the manager wants is that, if one does break forward, the other will stay. Naturally, I will be more defensive than Frank."