Theo Walcott is focused on helping England over the line to Euro 2016, and says he is determined to go on and perform on the biggest stage at a major tournament.
The Arsenal forward – who reported for duty at St. George’s Park on Tuesday ahead of the games against San Marino and Switzerland – has not had the best of luck when it comes to international tournaments.
At the age of 17, he was an unused squad member at the 2006 World Cup in Germany after his big-money move from Southampton to the Gunners.
San Marino v England
UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier
5pm, Saturday 5 September 2015
San Marino Stadium, Serravalle
Live on ITV 1
And after a period in the Under-21s he was in contention for a place in the 2010 World Cup squad, but was overlooked by Fabio Capello.
Injury kept him out of the 2014 World Cup and – although he impressed during two Euro 2012 appearances – he admits it has been difficult at times, but insists focus is firmly on the future.
“It’s something I can’t change,” he told TheFA.com.
“Of course, it’s always frustrating not to be able to play for England, but when I’m not I’m a fan and I’m always watching and wanting the team to do well – so that didn’t stop me from cheering on the guys.
“But I’m happy how things have gone. I’ve got 40 caps for England and I hope to get many more, but firstly I need to play well for Arsenal and then England is the next big target.
“To be part of this generation coming through, and how well we’re doing, it’s nice to be a part of that.”
Since the disappointment of the early exit in Brazil, the Three Lions have bounced back with six consecutive wins in the Euro 2016 qualification campaign.
They are also unbeaten in any fixture since the 2-1 defeat against Uruguay 15 months ago – 11 games in all.
But Walcott insists the impressive run has not surprised him and although he admits finishing the group with a 100 per cent is a target, qualification will always be the primary goal.
“It’s important to learn from mistakes you make, obviously at the World Cup,” he continued.
“But that’s gone and we can’t change that now. It’s the best way to react, how we have. Six wins out of six, you can’t get better than that.
“Now it’s all about focusing, finishing the job and the next step is the Euros – we want to be part of the history books.
“It’s [the 100 per cent record] not talked about as such. Every game is tough at international level and we want to get the three points, and we want to play football in the right way.
“But it’s all about results when it comes to the tournament. No-one remembers the winners in the qualifiers sections, it’s always about the next game.”
England travel to San Marino on Saturday 5 September at 5.30pm – and know a win in Serravalle would secure their berth in France 2016.
Following that game, they travel back to England to take on Switzerland at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday 8 September.
Both games are live on ITV 1.
Theo Walcott was speaking at an event with Vauxhall the England Team Sponsor.
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