Phil Jagielka hopes to cement England place
England news: Phil Jagielka has his sights set on becoming a regular starter for the Three Lions
Everton defender Phil Jagielka is aiming to use England's two upcoming friendlies to help re-establish his position for the Three Lions.
The 30-year-old hasn't represented his country for eight months but is set to feature against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley tonight.
Jagielka, who has 16 international caps to his name, has missed out on England's last four matches but he realises the importance of friendlies to impress the coaching staff.
“There are no points available but I’m sure everyone in the squad are looking to cement their place for the friendly in August [against Scotland] and, more importantly, the qualifier in September [against Moldova],” he told the Everton website.
Jagielka last featured in an England shirt in October against Poland but hasn't appeared since due a combination of being an unused sub and through injury.
But with the retirements of fellow England centre-backs Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, there is an opportunity for Jagielka to become a regular in the starting 11.
However, the former Sheffield United player knows that there is still plenty of competition for positions.
“The number of pairings we’ve had in recent games tells you the manager isn’t quite sure what his best pairing is,” said Jagielka. “There have been some injuries but it shows how many players are vying for that position.
“I am sure the manager will be happy he has got so much choice. It’s all about putting down a little marker. Obviously, you have your club form but it’s time to impress the manager and the coaching staff for the next few games."
Reports suggest that, if England's open training session is any guide, Jagielka could be paired with Gary Cahill to face Ireland at Wembley tonight.
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