Jags plays down England talk
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sheff Utd captain Phil Jagielka feels playing for England is still a 'long way away'.
Sheffield United captain Phil Jagielka feels playing for England is still a 'long way away'.
Jagielka's international claims were promoted by Blades boss Neil Warnock last week, who feels the player could be the long-term replacement for Gary Neville at right-back.
But former Under 21 international Jagielka has played down his manager's comments and admits it could be some time before he is called into the senior squad.
"You know the gaffer," said Jagielka. "He likes to say these things a bit tongue in cheek, as usual.
"Obviously I'd love to play for my country, but that's a long way away.
"Last week's game against Spain was a trial for a few players, but when it comes the qualifying games, I'm sure he (England coach Steve McClaren) will turn to the regulars again."
Turning his thoughts to The Blades' current situation, Jagielka is not taking the club's Premiership status for granted, despite Saturday's 2-1 win over Tottenham establishing a 10-point gap to the bottom three.
He added: "The win over Spurs was massive and the gap is now huge.
"But we've some tough fixtures coming up. If we can grind out a few results, then hopefully that will edge us closer to safety.
"We need to make Bramall Lane as big a fortress as possible because going to Anfield, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge in the next few weeks is not going to be easy.
"If we can keep going at home and playing like we have been doing then we won't be far off. After breaking through the 30-point barrier, we now have to kick on."