Leicester striker Jamie Vardy switches focus to earning England place

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Jamie Vardy insists all thoughts of Leicester's Barclays Premier League title bid will be pushed from his mind as he looks to stake a claim for a place in Roy Hodgson's England side.

The 29-year-old forward, who has been at the forefront of the Foxes' spectacular surge to the top of the Premier League, will be hoping to get a chance to add to his four England caps and grab a first international goal in the upcoming friendly double-header against Germany and Holland.

Vardy has scored 19 league goals this season, including a record-breaking run of netting in 11 successive Premier League games, and laid of six assists as Claudio Ranieri's men have opened up a five-point gap over second-placed Tottenham.

From playing in non-league in 2012, he made his England debut nine months ago but has yet to break his international duck.

With captain Wayne Rooney injured, Vardy is likely to be vying with Harry Kane for a place in his preferred central attacking role when England face Germany in Berlin on Saturday and that is currently the only thing on his mind.

"It is not going to be harder to focus at all, that's what we are here to do," he said.

"It is a period of two games with England and England is all the focus we can have. After next Tuesday has finished, it'll be 100 per cent back on Leicester again.

"No matter where you are or what position in the league you are in, if you are picked by the gaffer to come and join the squad you are there for a reason, for what you have been doing on the pitch during the season.

"I have just got to keep doing that, keep knuckling down and keep working as hard as I can.

"We understand that people are going to ask about it when we are with our club because we are doing well at the top and they will keep asking.

"It is not a pressure or something we can get away from. It is just nice to have a week away to focus on England."

Vardy missed out on the last two England friendlies, a defeat to Spain and a victory over France in November, due to injury but remains a large part of Leicester's success, which has also led to midfielder Danny Drinkwater getting his first senior call-up.

The former Fleetwood striker is now ready to test himself against another two strong national sides as the players set about convincing manager Hodgson they deserve a place in his side for the opening game of the European Championships against Russia on June 11.

"We've wanted to play the big teams in the build-up because that is what we are going to have to do when we get to the Euros," he said.

"Getting a result will put us in good stead but there is still going to be a lot of work that needs to be done.

"I think I have always got to have something to prove. There is quality all the way through the team and it is down to each individual to show what they can do to obviously put themselves in the gaffer's thoughts and see who he picks for the games.

"It is going to be difficult for everyone but having the competition we have got can only benefit us. It will make us even better going forward.

"We will have to see what happens on the training pitch. We all know how well everyone is doing and when the gaffer does pick his team, it is up to them to keep the shirt."

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