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No friendly games for England, says captain Cahill

Gary Cahill urged England to make the most of the chance to face top opposition in Germany, having been named as captain for Saturday’s game in Berlin.

The Chelsea defender will lead his country out for the second time in the absence of regular skipper Wayne Rooney, who is sidelined with a knee injury.

England meet world champions Germany before they welcome Netherlands to Wembley on Tuesday and Cahill stressed the importance of both contests.

“It is a chance [to lay down a marker],” he said at his pre-match media conference. “We know ourselves it’s a friendly, but at the same time there are no friendly games for England. 

“We want to play the right way, but we know we are going to be judged, especially against tough opposition. We just want to keep going the same way and play how we have been playing

“It’s another great test against a great opposition and one we are all looking forward to. We have got two more games and at the end of them it gives us a chance to see where we are playing against top players.”

Cahill believes England’s preparations for Euro 2016 are coming together positively and spoke of his pride at being named captain by manager Roy Hodgson.

Asked how the build-up was going to the tournament in France was going, he said: “Nicely. I think we spoke a few months ago and said we were going in the right direction.

“The qualification group went tremendously well. We still have things to learn. The France and Spain games were great opposition and two great tests. We have learned from those and are always looking to improve.

“Obviously it is a great honour for me – the second time I am going to captain my country which is obviously a dream come true.

“To play for your country is enough but to be captain is a very special moment and one that I am looking forward to. A victory would make it even sweeter and I hope it goes well.”

Cahill revealed he had been slightly worried about his England status when he briefly lost his place in the Chelsea team this season and is glad to be back playing regularly at Stamford Bridge.

“It was a bit concerning at that moment in time because I want to be playing, just like anyone else, as much as possible,” added the 30-year-old.

“It’s important to be back in the team, but everyone’s aware of this season and the situation we have had at Chelsea that hasn’t been great.

“Form-wise I feel fit, I feel good, and it’s important that I’ve been back out there, keeping sharp and getting game time.”

Fri 25 Mar, 2016
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