Stewart Downing says England newcomer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is helping bring the best out of him ahead of Euro 2012.
England have arrived at their Krakow training base after flying from Luton airport and manager Roy Hodgson conducted his first training session on Thursday ahead of their Group D opener with France on Monday.
Hodgson has remained coy on who will get the nod to start on the wing against France, after handing Oxlade-Chamberlain his first start against Belgium last week.
“I think we saw a glimpse of his talent at the weekend,” Downing told reporters.
“He’s an exciting player, who can run with the ball and it is good competition for me.
“He keeps me on my toes and whoever the manager decides to go with then we’ll just have to keep fighting for our place.”
Downing was replaced by the Arsenal youngster in England’s 1-0 over Norway in Oslo after 72 minutes, before Hodgson gave him the nod over the Anfield man against Marc Wilmots’ side at Wembley.
And with Oxlade-Chamberlain joining up with fellow inexperienced players in Jack Butland, Phil Jones, Martin Kelly, Jordan Henderson, Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck in going to their first international tournament, Downing is confident he can help the younger players adapt.
“When I went to the World Cup in 2006 it was certainly very exciting for a first tournament, so I understand what the young lads will be going through,” he said.
“Martin Kelly and Jordan Henderson have got to be very excited and it’s a great experience for them and if they need to speak to me or any of the other experienced lads then I’m here to offer them a helping hand.”
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