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Jagielka challenges England back-ups to impress

Phil Jagielka has challenged England’s fringe players to stake a claim for a starting spot when they take on Lithuania.

Roy Hodgson is expected to name a much-changed side for the final Euro 2016 qualifier, with Wayne Rooney, Gary Cahill, Michael Carrick, James Milner and Joe Hart all being rested.

Jack Butland has already been confirmed as goalkeeper and Jagielka will captain the side from the heart of defence, while Hodgson is expected to hand Jonjo Shelvey and Jamie Vardy the chance to impress.

And Jagielka has called on those who start on Monday to prove they should be in contention for the upcoming friendlies with Spain and France, as well as the Euro 2016 finals.

Speaking at England’s press-match media conference, the Everton defender said: “I’m obviously delighted that Roy came and found me and broke the news [about being captain]. It’s a great honour for me personally.

“We’ve got a big task ahead of us and it’s something we can be proud of. We started this campaign a while ago and the job was to try to win every single game.

“Normally you say that and probably not a lot of people expect you to do so but we’ve got some great performances along the way.

“It’s nice that we’ll hopefully have the opportunity to do so but we know it’s going to be a difficult game.

“With a few of the boys going [home] and a few of us getting a bit of an opportunity, whether you’ve got caps or not, these are the opportunities you want.

“The squad is strong. It’s up to us who get the chance to go and prove ourselves and put a performance on.”

England are looking for their 10th win from 10 Euro 2016 qualifying matches in Vilnius.

Sun 11 Oct, 2015
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