Jagielka eyes World Cup spot
Everton's Phil Jagielka remains optimistic over his chances of gaining a place in England's World Cup squad.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 05/03/10 3:29pm
Everton utility man Phil Jagielka is not holding his breath over gaining a place in England's World Cup squad but remains optimistic over his chances.
The 27-year-old has three caps for his country and, having recovered from a long-term knee injury, is back in action with the Toffees.
The former Sheffield United man, who is comfortable in defence and midfield, missed out on Fabio Capello's latest squad but he hopes a return to form for Everton can prompt a recall ahead of South Africa 2010.
"Maybe the World Cup will come too soon for me but a lot can happen between now and May," Jagielka told the Liverpool Echo.
"Once Christmas came and went and I still wasn't playing I resigned myself to not being able to kick on and at least give Fabio Capello a headache. But I'm fit now and I've got 11 games left for Everton.
"All I can do is perform well and get as much football as possible under my belt. If I was a gambling man I wouldn't put too much money on me making it but you never know.
"People can get injured and people can have a good or bad run of form so I'll keep battling," added Jagielka, whose last cap came against Ukraine last April.
One Everton player who looks set for a plane ticket to South Africa is left-back Leighton Baines, who made his international debut against Egypt in midweek.
The 25-year-old has impressed this season and is in pole position to act as Ashley Cole's understudy this summer, and Jagielka believes he is worthy of the chance.
"Bainesy got picked and rightly so because for me there isn't a better left-back in the country," added Jagielka, who has played as an emergency goalkeeper at club level.
"I'm delighted for him and I thought he did really well. He was very solid defensively and didn't give the ball away.
"For me he should be on the plane to South Africa and if he does go on to play for England at the World Cup I'm sure he'll do a fantastic job for them."