Clyne wants a start in Belgium
Sunday, 13 November, 2011
Crystal Palace defender says he'll always give 100% for England.
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England full-back Nathaniel Clyne was surprised to win his first cap for the Under-21s on Thursday, but says he’s looking forward to playing more and more for his country.
The Crystal Palace Player of the Year is spoken of very highly by the Selhurst Park faithful, so it may not have been a shock in south-London when he earned his first call-up for last week’s win over Iceland in Colchester and Monday’s trip to Belgium.
Clyne, who regularly plays at right-back for his club, was given a chance a left-back following injuries to Nathan Baker and Joe Bennett, but says he’s happy to play anywhere as he eyes another cap against the Belgians.
“I didn’t really expect to start, but due to injuries I got myself in there,” said the former England U19s player. “I worked hard in training to try and get myself into the team and I grabbed it with both hands. Hopefully I have done enough to secure a place for the next game.
“I can do a job at left-back but I am predominantly a right-back. It’s always good to have another position under your belt and if called upon I can always do a job at left back, no problem.”
The 20-year-old continued: “I know a few of the lads from the U19s and they have helped me settle in to the team and make me feel more comfortable. I know how the system works and it’s not that new to me.
“Being called into the Under-21s is a big deal for me, because it is a high level. I want to see and I want to know if I am up for, and capable of matching the standards of the Under-21s. I want to see how far I have come.
He added: “I always want to play for England and whenever you put on that shirt you want to give 100 percent and every time you train you want to do well for your country. Whenever I am called up I will come and do my best.”
And after going to Wembley with his Three Lions team-mates as Jack Rodwell, Phil Jones and Kyle Walker, three players eligible for the Under-21s, featured in the Seniors 1-0 win over World and European Champions Spain, Clyne was happy that young players are being given a chance.
“As long as you are good enough, it doesn’t matter how old you are,” he said. “If you are called upon, you are obviously good enough. It’s good to see that young lads are getting in to the first team and that if you take your chances you can get in there.”
But for now, having made his bow at Under-21s level, the Stockwell-born defender, who picked up the Palace Young Player of the Year award in 2009 and 2010, is looking to help the England reach Israel in 2013.
The game in Mons on Monday night, which is live on ESPN, will be England’s fifth in qualifying and they will be looking to maintain an impressive 100 per cent record so far this season.
“The European Championship is what we’re here for, it is what it’s all about and what we’re building up to get to, to be able to compete against the best teams in Europe,” he said.
“We have the players and we have the depth. We feel very confident."