Football

Jamie Vardy scored England's equaliser against Wales.

Jamie Vardy keen to win place in England's starting XI

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Jamie Vardy says he is happy to continue being an impact substitute for England but is still hoping to persuade Roy Hodgson to give him a chance from the first whistle.

Vardy, having been left on the bench for England's draw with Russia in their Group B opener, made an almost immediate impact as a half-time replacement against Wales on Thursday, netting an equaliser just 11 minutes after coming on.

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The Leicester forward is now being touted as a possible starter for Monday's final group game against Slovakia but, while he hopes that is the case, the quick 29-year-old accepts there are reasons why manager Hodgson might decide against employing him from the start.

He told a press conference: "You can see the logic definitely (of saving him for later in matches). For players getting tired it's probably easier to exploit but I'm happy either way, and it's down to me in training to hopefully get into the gaffer's mind to get a start."

Vardy also insists he feels no frustration having gone from being a Barclays Premier League superstar to warming the bench at Euro 2016.

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The striker, who finished with 24 goals last season as Leicester defied all expectations to win the title, said: "No, that means it's down to me on the training field to put the extra work in and hopefully dislodge one of the players if I can do."

He added: " It's up to the boss at the end of the day, he picks the team which he thinks can get the win so we'll have to wait and see until Monday what team he puts out and hopefully we can get the job done.

"I think it is tough for him but having competition for places is very good for the squad."

Vardy also expects strike rival Harry Kane to do all he can to keep hold of his first XI spot, dismissing any suggestion the Tottenham man might be suffering from fatigue after failing to make much of an impression in his starts against Russia and Wales.

Vardy said: "He doesn't seem tired, I'm sure it'll be just the complete opposite. He'll want to keep starting and hopefully get on that goal run, so he'll be putting the extra effort in training as well to stay in the starting line-up himself."

Following his club exploits last season, Vardy has been linked with a big-money move away from Leicester this summer, with Arsenal seemingly at the front of the queue.

However, news on that front has taken a back seat during the European Championship, and Vardy preferred to keep things that way on Saturday.

He said when quizzed about his future: "No, nothing at all. I'm just here focused on England and that's all I want to do."

England will guarantee top spot in Group B if they can beat Slovakia in St Etienne and, despite needing a stoppage-time Daniel Sturridge goal to overcome Wales having trailed at half-time, Vardy believes they do not need to change much with regards their approach.

He added: "I thought the performance (against Wales) overall was very good. We didn't deserve to be losing. We just need to carry on what we're doing."

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Topics:
Wales
Euro 2016
Football

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