Reo-Coker thinking of England
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Nigel Reo-Coker has been inspired by his experience with England in the summer.
West Ham captain Nigel Reo-Coker has been inspired by his experience with England in the summer.
The 22-year-old midfielder was placed on standby for the World Cup following an impressive season in The Premiership, and linked up with the squad for training prior to the tournament.
Reo-Coker admits that it was nerve-racking to find himself in such illustrious company, but has set his sights on becoming a regular squad member despite being overlooked by Steve McClaren for next week's friendly against Greece.
"It was an amazing experience for me, being away with the senior squad for the first time," he reflected.
"Training alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Michael Owen, you realise the world class players England have.
"It was very intimidating. At one point I was talking to Rio Ferdinand and I actually felt I didn't belong there because it is not so long ago I was a kid looking up to players like that.
"I was star-struck being up there, I am not going to lie. It makes you realise the standard you have to set for yourself.
"For me it's all about testing myself against the best players in world.
"The more you feel part of the environment, the more comfortable it will become."
Reo-Coker believes that playing European football for The Hammers this season can only help his England ambitions.
"European football is another branch you can add on to your football career. It is a different style of football and a higher level," he said.
"I never even dreamed of playing European football. I was happy becoming a professional footballer and seeing how far I could get.
"Last year at West Ham we didn't expect to have the success we had - but it shows what hard work can achieve.
"I will just concentrate on playing well for West Ham United. I want a high level of consistency in my performance and if Steve McClaren thinks I warrant a call-up, it is down to Steve McClaren."