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England news: Cook eager to take England chance

12 months ago

In the latest England news, Lewis Cook says he’s determined to grasp his international chance for the Three Lions in Friday’s friendly against the Netherlands.

The Bournemouth man was one of four uncapped players named by Gareth Southgate for this week’s friendly double-header against Holland and Italy and he will hope to make his debut when England go to Amsterdam on Friday.

The midfielder has had a fine campaign for the Cherries and has been rewarded for his performances by being given a chance with Southgate continuing to plan for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Cook will hope to impress at the Johan Cruyff Arena and the 21-year-old is aiming to make an impression, despite admitting to being a little nervous at the prospect of representing his country.

He said: “There are always a few nerves but I think I’m just excited. If I get the chance to play, I am going to give my all for the team and try to implement my style of play and adjust to how they play as well.

“I have a lot of learning to do but I have to enjoy it as well.”

Cook faces a challenge to force his way into Southgate’s final squad for the World Cup with plenty more experienced players viewed to be above him in the pecking order but he knows he can stake a claim with an eye-catching display against the Dutch.

He added: “If I get the chance to play in these games, I need to do what I do here (in training) and enjoy it.

“If (going to the World Cup) happens, it happens but I am focused on this camp now and giving my all.”

Southgate must also decide whether the other uncapped trio in his squad, James Tarkowski, Nick Pope and Alfie Mawson, will be given the chance to shine in Amsterdam with places in his squad for the summer still very much up for grabs.

Tarkowski has done well for Burnley at centre-back, in front of his Clarets club-mate keeper Pope, while Mawson’s performances in defence for Swansea have also not gone unnoticed.

Southgate is expected to use the games as an opportunity to try and narrow down his goalkeeper options with Pope battling it out with West Ham’s Joe Hart, Stoke City’s Jack Butland and Everton No.1 Jordan Pickford to be first choice for the World Cup.

England host the Italians, who have failed to qualify for Russia, at Wembley next Tuesday (March 27) before further warm-up games in June against Nigeria (June 2) and Costa Rica (June 7).

Southgate can name a provisional squad list – of up to 35 players – on May 14, with his final 23-man squad submitted to FIFA on June 4 ahead of the tournament getting underway on June 14.