Premier League: Everton defender John Stones keen to follow Ross Barkley

John Stones: Ross Barkley is an inspiration

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Everton defender John Stones believes Ross Barkley's inclusion in the England squad can act as an inspiration to him.

Stones made his Everton debut in last week's Capital One Cup defeat of League One Stevenage having joined from Barnsley in January.

The England Under-21 international is now keen to progress at Goodison Park and sees Barkley as a role model.

"Of course it is a big inspiration for me when Ross is making the first team and getting picked for England," said Stones.

"He is hitting the ground running for Everton. I really want to do the same as Ross.

"I am always trying to push for a first-team position, as is everyone in the dressing room. It is healthy competition.

"I want to cement a spot in the first team, to keep pushing as hard as I can all season until I get there. That is my big aim."

Stones is delighted to have been given the chance to play for Everton in some high-profile pre-season matches and is keen to establish himself in Roberto Martinez's plans.

"To get that first game in pre-season was a big help for me, getting on and playing against Juventus, and then the likes of Real Madrid and Valencia," he added.

"It was a great experience for me and made me feel like I had hit the ground running.

"Coming into such a big dressing room, the lads have taken to me so well and I am so thankful for that.

"Hopefully I can get a few more games now."