England captain Jagielka wants perfect 10

Date published: Monday 12th October 2015 10:24

Stand-in England captain Phil Jagielka is determined to end European Championship qualification in style.

After the debacle of last year’s World Cup, few could have predicted Roy Hodgson’s men winning every single match in the campaign to reach next summer’s finals in France.

That marvellous run saw the Three Lions become the first nation to qualify for Euro 2016, while victory in Lithuania on Monday will see them do so with a 100 per cent winning record.

Jagielka is charged with leading the side out in Vilnius in the absence of skipper Wayne Rooney, vice-captain Gary Cahill and Joe Hart – a memorable moment the Everton defender wants to mark with a record-breaking win.

“Obviously I am delighted that Roy came and found me and broke the news,” he said after being given the captain’s armband for the first time.

“It is a great honour for me personally and, like the manager said, we’ve got a big task ahead of us (on Monday), to do something that 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 to do so, but it is nice (on Monday) night we will have the opportunity to do so.

“We know it is going to be a difficult game. We have spoken about the (artificial) surface – yeah, it will be different, but a lot of us have trained or even played on similar surfaces.

“We really just can’t wait to get it going and hopefully get that 10th win and finish off in style.”

Onlookers will be hoping this match is more entertaining than Friday’s underwhelming 2-0 defeat of Estonia.

However, one major positive from the Wembley encounter was the man-of-the-match display of Ross Barkley, whose progress is impressing Toffees team-mate Jagielka.

“I have answered quite a lot of questions about Ross,” he said. “He has had a good start to the season.

“We have all wanted Ross to kick on and it seems like he is progressing sort of mentally and physically as a footballer at the moment.

“It was a fantastic performance. It was nice for him to get an assist and the general performance, but he is still the same player – he is still hungry to play.

“He has got a long way to go yet but it is nice that he is progressing along nicely.”

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