Phil Jagielka insists he will not walk away from England despite appearing to have lost his status as a regular starter for Roy Hodgson’s side.
The Everton FC captain was dropped for the Three Lions two recent wins against Norway and Switzerland, after seemingly being made a scapegoat for the national team’s poor performances at the World Cup.
But Jagielka, 32, maintains he won’t give up on representing his country, and denies his fraught start to the season with Everton is the result of a post Brazil hangover.
He said: “It does not feel nice. That is the easiest way of saying it, but the manager has a job to do. If you look at building for the future that can work against me, but if you start looking too deeply at things it is not going to do me any favours.
“If I get a bit of game time like I did at the last meet up all I can do is the best I can. It’s out of my hands who gets picked.
“After the game against Switzerland I was as happy as anyone else.
“I have not pushed my career as far as I can to get to the highest level just to spit my dummy out and say ‘I’m not going to come just because you’re not playing me’.
Everton FC training at their training ground Finch Farm, Halewoood ahead oftheir Europa League match against Wolfsburg. Pictured Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines1
“I would like to play every game and play a big part of it. As it is, at the moment I am having to play a supporting role. I still felt my contribution in Switzerland was important.”
Jagielka says he has no intention of knocking on Hodgson’s door to query why he has suddenly fallen behind Chris Smalling and Phil Jones in the England pecking order.
“What is there to speak about?” he said. “It is the manager who picks the team. I’m not going to demand reasons for not playing. A lot of people could do that for England. That is not what it is about.
“We are part of a team and if the manager makes a decision you stick by it.
“There are lads who have come in – Phil Jones at Manchester United – an up-and-coming talent bought for a lot of money. If you are looking at tournaments ahead it’s good for them to get the experience.”
The Goodison skipper admits he is not convinced that a swift return to Hodgson’s starting plans is on the cards.
“I would not say I was particularly confident, no,” he said.
“It is up to the manager and all I can do is play well for Everton.
“Hopefully if manager keeps playing me and I do well my case becomes stronger.
Everton FC training at their training ground Finch Farm, Halewoood ahead oftheir Europa League match against Wolfsburg and onlooking Phil Jagielka
“I can’t try anything else but to play well week in, week out for my club to get my place back. If it doesn’t, then whatever role I am given I will deal with it and do it to the best of my ability.
“Has the World Cup left a mark? I do not feel it has. It is an obvious assumption to make because it has not been great and could have been a lot better since.
“On a personal level I do not go around shouting about things. I am sure I would not have been asked this if we had won the first three games of the season and kept clean sheets. I know I have to answer these questions.”
Jagielka maintained that his focus is on a successful season with Everton, and that he took extra satisfaction from last weekend’s first clean sheet of the campaign against West Brom at the Hawthorns.
He said: “You can look at football in two ways. How you have done personally and how the team has done. It is important to look at both.
“Unfortunately, you can throw it at me that the last few games we played we have lost a lot and conceded a lot so there is not much of a defence against that.
“I set high standards and the manager sets me high standards and I know I could have been better, but I also know I could have been a lot worse. There is no point beating myself up about things.
“I want to play in winning teams and be a big part of a winning team, so there were some aspects I needed to sort out for myself.
“There are periods of a career where you feel you can not do too much right. It has been a sticky four months but the players and coaching staff around here have been brilliant.
“I do not think I have been horrific but when you look at the results I have been part of you can throw criticism my way and it is something I have to deal with.”
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