England defender Gary Cahill has told the FA that he is excited to make his major tournament debut for England.

The Chelsea defender was certain to be in Roy Hodgson's starting lineup for the European Championships in 2012 but was ruled out after breaking his jaw in a warm up game against Belgium.

Cahill made his debut for the national side in 2010 and has gone on to earn 23 caps after establishing himself in the Chelsea side following his switch from Bolton Wanderers.

Speaking to the FA's official website, the 28-year-old believes that he will make sure that he enjoys the tournament, which will improve his performances on the pitch.

He said: “There are no bigger games or tournaments than this. It is my first tournament so it is new for me but as well as the pressure being there, which is clear, I want to try and go out and enjoy it. 

"When you are enjoying your football I think that is when you play your best football so I just try and prepare the way I do week in week out in the Premier League and looking to enjoy this tournament and give everything I’ve got.”

Although there were not many positives to take from England's last warm-up friendly against Honduras, one plus for Hodgson is the defensive partnership of Cahill and Phil Jagelika.

The duo have kept two consecutive clean sheets, the first coming against Peru in England's send-off game at Wembley.

Cahill has stressed that the other teams in Group D will be foolish to play a high line against England.

According to the centre-back, pace is a defender's worst nightmare, an attribute which is possessed by many of the players in Hodgson's squad.

He added: "For me one of the worst things when coming up against players is pace. It is the same for anyone. As well as the quality we have got, pace is dangerous all the time so as a defender it pushes you a few yards back because you can’t afford to be playing a high line against the likes of these lads that we have got in our squad".

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