We’re just a couple of days away from Monday now and I’m just excited to be here and involved in a World Cup.
Every kid, when you start playing football, has a dream. For me, it’s been stepping stones. First it was to play for Sheffield United, and it was then to make my debut for Tottenham before things moved on to England and Manchester City.
- FIFA World Cup 2018
- Group G
- 7pm, Monday 18 June 2018
- Volgograd, Russia
- Live on BBC
So I’m ticking things off slowly, but I want to achieve something at international level and it would be the icing on the cake of what’s been a great season for me.
Everyone loves the World Cup, especially in England. We’ve seen the pictures from back home with the flags coming out across the country and we want the fans to be involved and we can feel it over here.
We try to interact with you as much as we can and we want to let you know what the feeling in camp is like and also that we want to produce results on the field that will get the nation behind us.
The squad first came together on 21 May so it’s been a few weeks of work leading up to this moment and I feel we’re well prepared for Tunisia now.
There’s a few final touches which we need to take care of ahead of the game and the manager and his staff have taken a lot of time to work on how we approach the games.
We saw Tunisia hold Spain for 85 minutes the other night and we know they’re no mugs. They’re here on merit and we need to play the game at a high pace and take the game to them and hopefully that will see us over the line.
The mood in the camp’s good, with the World Cup underway, the lads are really enjoying it, we’re excited and can’t wait to get going.
At international level, the difference between that and your club is that you’re not together day in and day out during the season.
But this now feels like a club environment with England. We’re together, we all mingle and everyone’s happy to sit with anyone else. That’s the environment you need to succeed.
You also need to be able to criticise your mates, in a positive way, so he can take it on the chin without being funny about it. You’re doing it for the team and that’s the most important thing and that’s the environment we’ve created.
When we’re on the field, it’s work time. We want to be coming back to the hotel knackered, that’s the most important thing, to get our practise in and work hard.
That leaves another 22 hours in the day and you have to get your rest, but you also need something else and that’s where this group is even better - we all get on and there’s always someone around.
We’re young men, we’ve got testosterone and we’re energetic. We’re just pretty daft and we all bounce off each other. The banter has not stopped since we got together and it’s going to keep on rolling.
It feels like home here and it’s the little things that make a difference. The photos in the rooms of our families, it’s something I haven’t experienced before at tournaments, and the staff behind it all have put in the extra yard to make it feel comfortable for us so we need to repay the favour and go out there and perform.
There are lads in the squad who have young babies and children, or partners who are pregnant. I’ve got three boys, aged six, two and nine months, so it is tough leaving them behind but you’re coming away to play at a World Cup.
There’s a lot of work that has gone into that, we’ve all trained and played hard all season at club level to make sure we’re here and now we just want to prove to ourselves and go out and do the business.