Gary Neville has hailed Stoke's Ryan Shawcross as an excellent role model to youngsters

Ryan Shawcross: Has the backing of England's Gary Neville

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Gary Neville has praised Ryan Shawcross as an excellent role model for youngsters after his old Manchester United team-mate earned a recall to the England squad.

Shawcross has been overlooked by England in recent years, despite rave reviews from his Stoke boss Tony Pulis, and the defender has been forced to cope with negative reports since his tackle on Aaron Ramsey left the Arsenal man with a badly broken leg in 2010.

But the 25-year-old has maintained his consistent form for the Potters this season and Neville feels his hard working attitude has taken him back to the top level.

"Any kid who has a dream should look at Ryan Shawcross maybe more than people at the highest elements of the game," said Neville.

"He is a great story and the fact he is in the England squad this week is something I am proud of.

"I remember playing with him when he was 16. He was a raw talent but someone who really wanted to make it. He wanted to use the last ounce of his energy to become a professional footballer.

"He had to leave Manchester United to get his chance. Not giving in and continuing to fight is a huge strength and he has been absolutely fantastic for Stoke.

"He deserves his opportunity this week and I am looking forward to seeing him because he represents the best of attitude, of working hard to get where you want. I am sure he will improve and get better."