Jagielka raring to go
Phil Jagielka hopes the fact that he is fresh will stand him in good stead for a World Cup call-up.
Last Updated: 27/04/10 7:18pm
Phil Jagielka hopes the fact that he is fresh will stand him in good stead when Fabio Capello selects the England squad.
Jagielka had begun to regularly press for international inclusion following a string of impressive performances for Everton when he suffered a serious knee injury 12 months ago.
He only returned to action in February and such a lengthy absence makes him an outsider for a place on the plane to South Africa for the World Cup this summer.
But the versatile defender would like to think that he has played enough since coming back to be in contention.
"I have played nine games, hopefully it will be 11 by the end of the season," Jagielka told Sky Sports News.
"It is not a lot in a season but I'd rather be playing 10 or 11 games in the latter end of the season rather than at the beginning of the season.
"I'd like to (go to the World Cup), I've made no bones about that, but I don't pick the squads. I'll just have to wait and see what Mr Capello wants to do and go from there."
Jagielka is satisfied with the way he is playing but believes there is still room for improvement as he gets more minutes under his belt.
Asked about his current form, he replied: "Probably middle of the road. I feel sharp and I'm getting stronger game by game, but whether I have enough games only time will tell."
Jagielka believes one factor in his favour is that while some players are tiring at the end of a gruelling campaign, he is still fresh.
"I'd like to put that forward as my case," he admitted. "I'm raring to go and if you look around the training ground I am quite lively, whereas there are quite a few who have had a long season."
The 27-year-old is not sure he will get the nod from Capello as he accepts there is fierce competition for places in the England squad
He said: "A lot of people have had good seasons. I am not going to be blasé and say I deserve to play.
"I am going to have to keep my fingers crossed and have a bit of luck to get in the squad."