Wilshere: What I have to do to reach World Cup

Sarah Winterburn

Jack Wilshere has admitted that he cannot afford another injury if he wants to go to the World Cup with England.

The Arsenal midfielder pulled out of Gareth Southgate’s squad in March with a minor injury but knows he cannot afford another setback.

He has played in all but one of Arsenal’s Europa League fixtures this season and will face Atletico Madrid in the semi-final second leg on Thursday night.

His chances of making Southgate’s World Cup squad have undoubtedly been boosted by injury to his former teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“I think that [Russia] is always in your mind,” Jack Wilshere told the Evening Standard.

“Unfortunately, I missed the past couple of friendlies which was frustrating. It wasn’t a big thing, but I think I made the right decision to come away from it and get fit for the remaining games of the season.

“If I don’t play the rest of this season, then I have no chance, so I’ve got to give myself every opportunity to be going, to stay fit, find some form and then go from there. The manager said ‘it’s down to you, it is down to the players’.

“He said that in general to everyone I think, that it’s down to the players to force their way into that team and make it hard for them not to pick you. I know what I’ve got to do and I’ll be looking to do that.”