Jagielka: England could have something special


Stand-in England captain Phil Jagielka feels the country's young squad has the potential to become something special after a 3-0 win over Lithuania on Monday sealed a 100 per cent record in Euro 2016 qualifying.

The visitors cruised to victory in Vilnius thanks to a deflected Ross Barkley effort, a Giedrius Arlauskis own goal and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's powerful finish, making them the only team in this year's campaign not to drop a single point and just the sixth ever to do that in European Championship qualification.

Jagielka - captain for the match with Wayne Rooney and Gary Cahill rested - was encouraged by what he saw from England's fringe players and feels the squad has the potential to be great.

"We knew it was going to be a difficult task to win all 10, but that was the gameplan from day one and thankfully we managed to do it," he told ITV.

"Obviously the squad was mixed up a little bit but it proves what good strength we have got and, obviously with the goalscorers, what good youth we have got coming through. Hopefully if we nurture them right they could be something special."

The Everton defender, 33, then turned his attention to the upcoming friendly matches England have against Spain, France and Germany - some of the favourites to win Euro 2016.  

"They are massive," said Jagielka. "Obviously we have chosen to play against some really tough nations before we travel out to France so it is going to be difficult to try and get in the team.

"But if you get in the team they are going to be hard games to go out and prove yourselves. But that is what we are all about, we are all competing for the same goal, we want to be on the plane to get out to France and once we get out there we want to be part of a successful England team.

"The tougher the games the better, and hopefully all of us who played here have done ourselves no harm."