Steven Caulker wants to help take England into the Euro 2013 Finals
England Under-21s defender Steven Caulker
wants to make up for missing out of the Euros in Denmark by seeing off Serbia in Tuesday’s play-off second leg.
A draw for the Young Lions would see them reach their fourth successive European Championship and give the Tottenham man a chance to be part of another major tournament.
Injury ruled Caulker out of an opportunity of being at the 2011 Finals but after featuring for Team GB at London 2012, but the Tottenham man is intent on helping England through to Israel next summer.
“I’d made my debut against Germany in a friendly [in November 2010]
and I was hoping to go to Denmark,” said Caulker. “I’d been working with Wigs [Steve Wigley] all season at Bristol, so I was in with a shout.
“But it turned out that injury put paid to it. When I’m injured I always find it hard mentally. I always want to be out there on the pitch and want to be involved.
“It was hard to be out of a big tournament, but hopefully we can beat Serbia and I’ll get my chance to go to Israel.
“I watched the games in Denmark while I was away on holiday getting some rest. It was unfortunate they didn’t get out of the group, but I think we can be even stronger next year.”
After conceding just three goals in nine games in qualifying and keeping seven clean sheets, another one in Krusevac on Tuesday night will be enough to secure qualification to the Finals.
Stuart Pearce’s side lead 1-0 from Friday’s first leg in Norwich
, thanks to a penalty from Caulker’s defensive partner Craig Dawson.
And the tie could come down to penalties to decide who goes on to next summer’s eight-team tournament, which is something the 20-year-old Londoner says England are prepared for.
“We’re confident we can go out there and win again, but we’d loved to have got a few more goals and be a bit more comfortable coming into the game,” he said.
“I thought we did well last game, and will look to improve on that too. After a lot of clean sheets during the campaign we feel we can keep them out and add one or two more at the other end.
“It’s important that we know we have something to defend. Daws’ [Craig Dawson] penalty at Norwich was well-taken and it’s given us that one-goal lead and an advantage for the second game.”
He continued: “Daws has been on fire in training and over the course of the Olympics, he was scoring every day. So fair play to him, he stepped up and hit the back of the net.
“I’m not the most confident penalty taker, but if you’re called upon you’ve got to do the job. We practice e very day and I’d be happy to forward if it happens.”
Caulker added: “We’re only together for a short time but we put a lot of work in on shape and as a back four, in fact as a back five with the goalie behind us who is always talking.
“We look to play out and look to keep the ball to make it a lot harder for the opposition to score.”
England's Euro 2013 play-off second leg in Serbia on Tuesday will be live on ESPN. Kick off is 5pm BST.