The FA

Keane ready for Wembley return

England defender set for scene of career highlight and chats about Everton switch

Sunday 03 Sep 2017

Michael Keane can’t wait to return to Wembley on Monday, the scene of one of his personal highlights to date.

The Everton defender says that his appearance for the Three Lions in the victory over Lithuania in March is up there with the best moments in his short career.

And the 24-year-old is hoping to impress boss Gareth Southgate enough to grace the famous Wembley pitch again as England look to take another step towards World Cup qualification.

England v Slovakia
  • European Qualifier
  • 7.45pm, Monday 4 September 2017
  • Wembley Stadium connected by EE
  • Live on ITV

“I can’t wait to be back at Wembley,” revealed the former Manchester United and Burnley ace.

“I have great memories of playing against Lithuania in my first match there, right from arriving at the stadium, the build-up and of course, the game itself.

“It was a special occasion for me and all of my family and luckily, the game went well.

“We had a good win, kept a clean sheet and hopefully I’ll be able to train well and be in the manager’s ideas for that.”

Keane and his squad mates arrived back on home turf on Saturday after Friday’s game with Malta in Ta’Qali, before turning their attentions to Monday’s game where another victory could be enough to secure England’s spot at next summer’s World Cup Finals.

But after recalling the first game with Slovakia, when it took a late strike from Adam Lallana to clinch a 1-0 victory in what was former boss Sam Allardyce’s only game in charge, Keane knows it won’t be straight forward.

“It’s a game that we should win but we can’t take it for granted,” he added.

“You never know in football, you see it in the Premier League with mad results and they’ll make it difficult for us, but we’ve prepared well and we’ve got to make sure that we’re ready.

“We’ve done our homework on the opposition and we’ll be ready.

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“If we can win, we will have one foot in the World Cup so we just want to make sure we get there now.”

Keane has had an eventful few months in his career, having played a starring role for Burnley in securing the Clarets’ Premier League status last term, making his England debut in Germany and then sealing a big-money transfer to Everton.

And the Stockport-born player, who was a regular for the U21s under Southgate, says he’s enjoying his time at Goodison Park so far.

“It’s been great,” he revealed.

“I’ve come to realise how big a club Everton is and we’ve been really busy, with a lot of games in the Europa League too.

“It’s been full-on and I’ve settled in nicely with all of the staff and my new team-mates.

“We’ve started the season pretty well, apart from the defeat against Chelsea, but hopefully we can kick-on when I get back.”

Tickets for the game with Slovakia on Monday are still on sale now. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

By Nicholas Veevers