Lallana eyes World Cup start

Adam Lallana is hoping to impress Roy Hodgson sufficiently enough over the coming days to earn a place in England’s starting line-up to face Italy on Saturday.

Last Updated: 09/06/14 at 23:18 Post Comment

Adam Lallana: Hoping to start for England in Saturday's World Cup opener with It

Adam Lallana: Hoping to start for England in Saturday's World Cup opener with It

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The Southampton midfielder is widely tipped to face the Azzurri in England’s World Cup opener but he is not taking his place for granted.

"I want to be here and play, keep working hard in training and doing all I can to force myself in to the first 11," he said.

"I know what my job is. The better I play the more chance I have to stay in the team or if not then to make a contribution from the bench.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinions. I am just going to keep focusing on training hard and doing as much as I can to impress the manager.

"Three years ago I was playing in League One so just to be here at a World Cup is a massive achievement and anything else is a bonus."

Lallana recognises the competition in the squad, and added: "It's a good feeling. We all want the same outcome and that's a win. It's healthy."

England trained at their Urca military base on Monday and were joined by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Arsenal man went through some strenuous running drills as he steps up his recovery from the knee injury suffered against Ecuador last week.

"It's really optimistic seeing him running," Lallana said. "It's a massive step and fingers crossed he'll be fit for the group stages."

Oxlade-Chamberlain's club team-mate Jack Wilshere was also heartened to see him out on the field.

"He did well, some running which, five days after an injury, is good. He's young, the body heals better when you're younger," he said.

"He has 24-hour treatment too. Back at the clubs it can take a bit longer but he's got treatment all the time. Hopefully we can get him training.

"He's got a great attitude, he had a knee injury in the season and came back and looked good.

"We have seen him come back, he's fresh and we can hopefully get him back."

Wilshere is thought to be competing with Liverpool's Jordan Henderson for a spot in England's midfield but he does not see it that way.

"There is that (competition) throughout the squad but it would be disrespectful to Frank Lampard and Ross Barkley - Frank has played for England over 100 times - to say it was between me and Jordan.

"Jordan has had a great season, so has Frank, Ross, Alex..."

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