Jags and Baines reap benefits
Everton assistant boss Steve Round believes Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines have improved as a result of their England involvement.
Last Updated: 05/10/11 3:41pm
Everton assistant manager Steve Round believes Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines will continue to improve as players due to their involvement with England.
The pair are again part of Fabio Capello's squad for Friday's final Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro having been called on by the Italian on a regular basis.
Centre-half Jagielka has been restricted to nine caps, while full-back Baines has just five to his name due to the competition for places in the England squad.
But Round, who coached the Three Lions under former boss Steve McClaren, thinks the benefits of being involved in the international setup are obvious.
"You don't necessarily see an instant improvement but over a period of time you do see a steady improvement," he said in the Liverpool Echo
"And that is coupled with their maturity as a player with Everton because 95 per cent of their work and development is done here.
"They then go to England and it's just that extra few per cent it gives you. Over the last few years, steadily with the work here and then the little bits of international experience, we have seen Leighton and Phil develop into exceptional players."
Round added: "It's a very, very intense arena, not only in the game but in training. The concentration you have to show in training as well as the technique and talent is phenomenal every day.
"They will always come back that little more confident and better as a player.
"Fabio Capello is an outstanding coach at the highest level and will impart little bits of knowledge onto Phil and Leighton.
"It's a great experience for them and we'd love them to play for their country more but they are up against some very good players in the team.
"Jags is in contention and both he and Leighton are looking to play international football.
"Unfortunately for them, they have some exceptional players in front of them in John Terry and Ashley Cole. But to say you're not far off them is testament to the two lads."