Adam Lallana remains confident that he will be given a place in England’s World Cup side, despite missing large chunks of the season with injury.
“It’s been a bit stop-start,” Lallana said. “It’s been a different challenge for me this season. I’ve had a long layoff, but I’m back at the business end of the season, and I’ve got to look at the positives.
“We’ve got the World Cup, some really important league games and the Champions League. If you’re going to be back for one part of the season it’s this.
“I just need to get that rhythm, and you need to get minutes on the pitch. It’s not just about training, it’s about competitive football.
“There’s plenty of time before the end of the season: one of the assistants told me that before one of the World Cups Darren Anderton hadn’t played a competitive game until April.”
Lallana revealed that Gareth Southgate has been in close contact throughout his recovery, although he isn’t taking anything for granted before the England manager names his squad for Russia in May.
“Me and the boss have got a great relationship,” he said. “We’ve been speaking throughout the season, he’s been interested to know where I’ve been with my rehab.
“I’ve been down to St George’s Park a couple of times, so I suppose that’s where the confidence comes from.
He recognises what I bring to the team, my teammates recognise that and so do I. Although I’ve been injured, i feel I’m physically and mentally as fresh as anyone.
“I’m smart enough not to be complacent, there’s enough talent that wants to get into the squad.”
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