Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has urged Ryan Shawcross to focus on maintaining his club form, suggesting an international recall from England boss Roy Hodgson remains highly unlikely.
The 28-year-old centre-back made his first appearance of the season last month following back surgery and has fitted seamlessly back into Stoke’s side.
However, Shawcross’ sole international appearance came in the 4-2 defeat to Sweden in 2012 and Hughes does not anticipate Shawcross earning a recall ahead of Euro 2016.
“Ryan Shawcross has had a long-term injury that he’s just come back from and he’s getting up to speed with things,” the Welshman told reporters.
“From the first time he came back against Chelsea he’s been outstanding. He certainly has the ambitions to get into the England squad but he just has to continue with performing well here.
“Roy has stuck with the players that have got him through the [Euro 2016] qualification campaign, however, so Ryan might have to wait for a change of circumstance in order to get a chance.
“All managers have loyalty to players that have produced for them in the past and you can understand that, particularly at this late stage before a major tournament.”
Stoke have conceded just once since Shawcross returned to action in the League Cup against Chelsea – the former Manchester United man forming a solid partnership with Philipp Wollscheid at the back.
Hughes is hopeful Wollscheid can feature against Sunderland this weekend despite suffering with a hip problem.
“Unfortunately Philipp Wollscheid is a little bit sore with his pelvis and didn’t train today,” Hughes added.
“Hopefully he will tomorrow and will be able to feature at Sunderland. At the moment defensively we are very sound and that’s giving us a platform to build on.
“The creative players in the team can then take confidence from that as they know if they lose the ball it might not allow the opposition to open us up.”