RYAN SHAWCROSS admits to feeling more at home in the England set-up . . . as he prepares for the possibility of making his international debut in Stockholm on Wednesday evening.
Stoke City’s captain will be hoping it’s a case of third time lucky when England face Sweden after he got no further than the substitutes’ bench on his last two occasions in the England squad.
With England manager Roy Hodgson expected to blood a number of newcomers to the squad in the friendly match, Shawcross is one who could be in line to win his first cap against the Swedes.
If that is the case, he would be the first City player to represent England for 28 years, stretching back to Mark Chamberlain’s last cap as a substitute in a World Cup qualifier against Finland.
After earning his first international call-up to the England squad in February 2010, the former Manchester United youngster had to wait until last month for another opportunity when he was named in the squad for the World Cup encounters with San Marino and Poland.
Shawcross is getting used to those surroundings, telling FATV: “It’s always good to join up with the national squad and now I have been here a couple of times, you feel at home.
“I know a few of the lads from the Under-21s and in the Premier League, you come up against them week in, week out. They make you feel at home and you settle in quickly.”
Although there are a number of notable absentees from the England squad for this week’s game, Shawcross remains philosophical about his chances of earning a first cap.
“There’s a lot of experienced players ahead of me, while there’s also players in and around the squad who are maybe injured or not selected on this occasion, so it’s up to me to perform well in training in the hope that I get a chance,” commented City’s skipper.
Shawcross is quick to credit the progress made by the Club over the past couple of seasons as a key factor in being given the opportunity to play at the highest level.
“If you’re playing well, you get noticed,” he added. “At Stoke, we did well last year and obviously playing in Europe got us a few headlines.
“On a personal note, if I am doing okay and being consistent, then I felt I could break into the England squad. Hopefully now, I can stay in it.”