Rodwell focused on U21s
Tuesday, 10 August, 2010
Everton midfielder looking ahead to season with club and country.
Watch England U21s v Uzbekistan live on ESPN from 7.30pm tonight, click here for details
Jack Rodwell is playing it cool ahead of the start of the season and is focused on performing for his club and country, rather than listening to speculation surrounding his future on the international stage.
After a disappointing World Cup for England the Everton midfielder’s name was mentioned among a host of young English talent who could be involved with Fabio Capello’s team during the Euro 2011 campaign.
Rodwell, who is hoping to win his 12th Under-21s cap against Uzbekistan in Bristol tonight, has recently seen young England team mates given a chance with the seniors. Joe Hart, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere have all played alongside the 19-year-old for Stuart Pearce’s side and are in Capello’s squad for the match at Wembley on Wednesday.
And while Rodwell is flattered by being touted by some as an another rising star, he’s just concentrating on his next game.
“I’m looking forward to the new season, and It’s good to get away with the Under-21s and get a good result before we go into the two qualifiers next month,” he told ESPN, who will be broadcasting the match live from Bristol City.
“It’s obviously a good chance for the youth and when you look at the senior team now you’ve got the likes of Joe Hart and James Milner, while Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere have gone up for the game this week.
“It’s inspiring to see that so hopefully a few more can do that too. The Manager will be looking to the Euros and he needs to look to the future as shown with his latest squad."
Rodwell added: “It’s flattering to hear those things but all I can do is concentrate on my job and at the minute it’s the Under-21s game against Uzbekistan then Everton’s first game against Blackburn this weekend.”
Rodwell is no stranger to the England set-up, though. He’s been a mainstay in the Under-21s for 18 months since making his debut against France at Nottingham Forest. Prior to that he has played through the development levels from U16s.
But for now he’s happy with the Under-21s and trying to help them earn a place at next summer’s European Championship with two must-win qualifiers coming up next month. However, if a chance to step up does come his way, he’ll says he’ll take it in his stride.
“I’ve played from U16s right the way through to the Under-21s and I’ve seen a lot of good young players.
“I always believe in my ability no matter what level I play at. Hopefully I can get a lot of games for Everton this season and what happens after that is a bonus.
“This is a crucial game for the Under-21s. It’s good to get together for a bit of team bonding, we don’t have a lot of time together. We had a disappointing result in the last game against Greece, so this is our chance to turn it around.
“We want to get a result off the back of a defeat to get the confidence and sprits high ahead of the qualifying games.”
You can follow all the latest from the England Under-21s camp here on TheFA.com, on the team's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/EnglandU21s), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/thefadotcom).
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