Phil Jagielka: No problems if we play like we have been

Thursday 26 Mar 2015
Jagielka has played in all six wins this season
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Back-to-back wins got England’s latest campaign off to a flyer as Roy Hodgson’s men headed into the winter break out in front in Group E. 

Nearly four months on from their sixth consecutive victory and the Three Lions squad gathered together on Monday for the first time this year.

England v Lithuania

European Qualifier
7.45pm, Friday 27 March 2015
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Live on ITV
Download the matchday programme

Phil Jagielka has played his part in all of the games so far this season, scoring against San Marino, and believes his team-mates have been able to quickly turn their minds back from their clubs to their country.

And the Everton defender says contact with Hodgson and other members of the squad since their last get-together has kept international matters at forefront of their minds.

"We made a conscious effort to keep up to date," said Jagielka. "There’s quite a few of us who live in similar areas so we do bump into each other occasionally.

"When you go back to your clubs you have different thought processes and different ideas. 

"It becomes more straightforward the more games you play and the more you understand the philosophies of club and country. 

Phil Jagielka on Joe Hart's form

 

"You might play slightly differently, maybe in a different position for England. It takes a little bit of adjusting, but we’re talking about some pretty good players here, so it shouldn’t be too hard for them to adapt."

Sitting six points clear at the top of the table ahead of Friday’s opponents Lithuania, as well as Slovenia and Switzerland, another victory would not only take them a step closer to France.

It would also be the first time an England team has started a season with seven wins on the bounce.

Having experienced the disappointment of the World Cup in Brazil last summer, Jagielka is keen to set the record straight and where better than at the European Championship?

Phil Jagielka

"If we play like we have done in the last few qualifiers it shouldn’t be a problem."

"As much as we’re desperate to do well and qualify for France, it doesn’t really mean anything until you get to the tournament," added Jagielka.

"It’s a process you have to go through to earn your chance to perform in a big tournament.

"The World Cup didn’t go too well but the next tournament we have is the Euros. We need to qualify, and we look to be doing okay, so when it comes to the crunch we have to step up to the plate."

He added: "We’ll have done a bit of homework on Lithuania, but like all of these games it’s down to how we perform. 

"If we play like we have done in the last few qualifiers it shouldn’t be a problem."

You can read the full interview with Jagielka in Friday's official matchday programme, which will be available from Wembley Stadium, online via www.TheFA.com/Programmes, or to download from the Apple Newsstand, here

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor