Conor Gallagher has not given up hope of forcing a way into England’s World Cup squad after talks with Gareth Southgate.
The four-cap midfielder was demoted to the Under 21s this month but played a starring role during their victory in Italy on Thursday night.
Southgate picked the likes of James Ward-Prowse over Gallagher for the final international matches before Qatar, leaving the Chelsea man with an uphill task.
‘Obviously you can say it was difficult that I wasn’t part of the squad in this camp,’ Gallagher said.
‘But I took it on the chin. Gareth spoke to me and said what I need to do to give myself the best chance to get in the squad.
‘It was the things that you would expect. Just regular football, performing well consistently, those are the most important things. I’m very happy and thankful that he said that. I’m going to work as hard as I can and try to impress him to give myself the biggest chance.’
Under-21 manager Lee Carsley has praised Gallagher’s application over the past week. Others have sulked after dropping down from the seniors in the past, yet Gallagher has remained committed.
‘It’s always an honour to play for England, whether that’s in the seniors or for the Under-21s,’ Gallagher added.
‘The best thing for me is to show good attitude. Of course it (a good attitude) makes a difference and it looks good on paper.
‘But I genuinely want to do well for the Under 21s and do well for Lee and help the team as much as I can. I’m part of the squad and here to do well and to help win the games.’ Gallagher is set to feature when the Young Lions host Germany on Tuesday and will then have to fight for Graham Potter’s attention at Stamford Bridge.
‘It’s been tough because he’s been thrown straight in with important games,’ the 22-year-old said. ‘It’s been a tough start to the season too.
‘He seems like a really nice guy and a really good coach as well. Everyone at Chelsea is excited to work with him. Hopefully it’s a fresh start and I can start playing a bit more regularly. That’s what my aim is.’