The tourists currently hold a lead of 106 runs after battling back on day three to post 214-4 at the close of play.
Hussain is adamant that England need to make early inroads to avoid a potential big chase on the final day, which could be made more difficult due to their lack of recent success.
"England, after what's happened in the last six months, will get twitchy if they have to chase over 200," Hussain told Sky Sports News.
"The fear of failure will come in because they can't lose to Sri Lanka after what happened in the winter [in the Ashes].
"One thing that will keep them going is they've got a new ball in about half an hour's time tomorrow morning and a very long Sri Lanka tail. But they have to get to that tail."
England's last Test victory came against Australia at Durham in August 2013.