PHIL Jagielka admits he has “mixed emotions” over John Terry’s retirement from international football as he strives to cement his own spot in the England team.
agielka the England fan was disappointed the Chelsea skipper decided to stop making himself available for his country last month.
But Jagielka the ambitious defender who wants to play regularly for England knows it is one less obstacle to overcome in his desire to achieve that goal ahead of tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier in Poland.
With Terry’s long-time England colleague Rio Ferdinand currently not being selected by manager Roy Hodgson, the chance is there for Jagielka, Joleon Lescott and Gary Cahill to stake their claims.
Jagielka said: “I wouldn’t say I was resigned to never playing regularly because of John and Rio.
“But that’s the role you get put into when there are people in front of you who aren’t particularly giving you the opportunity to get a game.
“What else can you do? It was just the situation I was in. Just turn up and hopefully be given a game.
Tom Cleverley has backed Wayne Rooney’s England captaincy claims.
Rooney skippered his country in a competitive game for the first time in Friday’s 5-0 win over San Marino, but with Steven Gerrard returning for tomorrow’s encounter with Poland, will be back among the foot soldiers in Warsaw.
Manager Roy Hodgson does view the Manchester United man as a leader in waiting.
And Cleverley endorses that view, feeling his Red Devils team-mate has all the right attributes, even the ability to deliver Roy Keane-style rebukes.
“When you want to win badly you’ll do anything to achieve it,” said Cleverley.
“If people need telling, even in training, Wazza’s not afraid to do it, or if I’m on his team and we’re not winning he’ll let me know.”