Phil Jagielka determined to impress for England in friendlies
Phil Jagielka has expressed his determination to make his mark for England in the two upcoming friendlies.
Last Updated: 27/05/13 5:43pm
Roy Hodgson's men are set for battle against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil over the next seven days and the centre-half spots are up for grabs with the retirement of Rio Ferdinand and John Terry appearing to be out of contention.
Manchester United duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have struggled with injury this season and Joleon Lescott has not played regularly at Manchester City, leaving Jagielka and Chelsea's Gary Cahill as the frontrunners.
Jagielka, who has not featured for his country since October because of injury, has starred for a resolute Everton defence during much of the recent Premier League campaign and said: "We don't know what the starting XI will be so it's all about putting down a marker this week.
"Obviously they can look at your club form before that, but this is the time to impress the manager and the coaching staff. There are no points available, but I'm sure everyone will be trying to cement their place ahead of the games in August and September.
"Previous players nailed down that position for three or four years so it will
be interesting. I'm sure Hodgson is looking at the mixture of defenders or partnerships that he might have.
"Hopefully I am in the mix and I might get a few run outs."
For Wednesday's Wembley showdown with Ireland, the four England players in Hodgson's current party have just 60 caps between them, but Jagielka thinks every one is competent enough to form part of the team's backbone in the build-up to next year's World Cup.
The 30-year-old added: "That shows the strength in depth we have at centre-half. I suppose it does feel a bit like the start of a new era. I don't think Rio and JT have played for England for a while now so you could argue that the a new era started months ago.
There is a good blend between youth and older players, so it will be nice for us to have the start of a great new era and hopefully we can progress as a team."