• Euro 2012

Jagielka hopes England can fly under the radar

ESPN staff
May 29, 2012
Phil Jagielka believes England could perform better with lower expectations © PA Photos

Phil Jagielka is hopeful that the lower expectation levels surrounding England could help to ensure the team better their previous appearances at international tournaments.

England have failed to replicate the glory they tasted in 1966, when the country lifted the World Cup on their own turf under manager Sir Alf Ramsey.

In recent tournaments, the Three Lions have flopped, with the nation dumped out of the 2010 World Cup at the hands of Germany in the first knockout phase.

Under new manager Roy Hodgson, who replaced Fabio Capello this month, the mood heading into Euro 2012 is one of realistic expectations, and Jagielka hopes this will work in their favour.

The Everton defender said: "I am sure if we win a game we will be favourites but I am sure if we lose a game we will be a waste of space.

"It would be better for the squad if there is a little bit less expectation on us. Hopefully we can go under the radar until the latter stages of the tournament.

"I think if we are being realistic we haven't won anything for a number of years now. Maybe that is because we haven't deserved to. Hopefully we can do better this time."

Jagielka, who was a late selection in Hodgson's 23-man squad after Gareth Barry picked up a stomach injury, is keen to push hard for a place in the starting XI, having impressed alongside former Toffees team-mate Joleon Lescott.

He said of his fellow centre-back: "We are of a similar age. We have played together at Everton. It is always nice to have a familiar face next to you, especially as the standards are so high. In the three games Joleon and I have played in we have had three wins."

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