England's Jonjo Shelvey is focused on Euro performances as Italy await
England v Italy
UEFA European Under-21 Championship
Group A match
7.30pm (BST), Wednesday 5 June 2013
Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv
Live on Sky Sports
says England need to concentrate on their own performances in the Euros if they are to stand a good chance of success.
The Under-21s kick-off the group stage with their first game of the Finals on Wednesday evening when they face Italy in Tel Aviv.
And the Liverpool star knows that despite being amongst the favourites to progress from their group, there is still a long way to go in the competition.
Shelvey said: “I think people have said we've got the easiest of the two groups, and on paper we have.
“But when you play international games there are no easy games. Italy will be hard to break down but I think we've just got to play our own game, not get into this mindset of defending.
“We've got to go out there and put our stamp on the game.”
The 21-year-old, who has one Senior cap, and his squad mates have been well briefed on the challenges that lie ahead for them in Israel by Head Coach Stuart Pearce and his staff.
With Norway and the host nation also in Group A with England, there are the more familiar contenders of Germany, Spain, Netherlands and Russia in Group B.
And should England get past the group stage and into the semi-final, Shelvey is looking forward to rubbing shoulders with the best of the rest and coming out on top.
He added: “Spain have got a very good team, obviously there are some great international and club players.
“You've got the likes of Thiago [Alacantara] from Barcelona, so it's going to be a good tournament to be involved in.
“I'm not going to sit here and say that I want to be player of the tournament, but if I do, it will be nice.
“I've just got to put in the performances, because I know I am capable of doing it.”
Both Shelvey and his Anfield team-mates Jordan Henderson and Jack Robinson will come up against a familiar face in their opener too.
Reds striker Fabio Borini is in the Italy squad for the competition and Shelvey knows he represents a potential danger to the Three Lions.
“We had been having banter with Hendo all through the season about this game,” revealed the former England U16, U17 and U19 international.
“Fabio just says they're going to play for a draw and meet us in the Final.
“He's a good player. When you see him in the finishing drills after training, you see his real quality and how good he is in front of goal.
“I'm sure we won't be giving him a sniff because we know that if we do, he'll punish us.”
England come into the competition in good form, having won their last nine games without conceding a goal.
And even though Shelvey knows it’s going to be a step-up in quality for the Finals, the confidence and spirit in the camp is there for all to see.
He added: “We've won the last nine and to do that at any level, even in the park, is some record so it's especially good to do it for England Under-21s.
“Stuart keeps talking about the two years build-up that we've had, that's how long we've had preparing for this tournament.
“We're obviously going to go out to try and win it."
You can keep updated with us inside the camp, here on TheFA.com, via Twitter @FA or the official England Facebook page...