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Barkley takes the positives

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25 Jun 2014 12:16:55

Barkley takes the positives

Ross Barkley knows England's new generation need to step up and embrace the responsibility of replacing the old guard after a miserable World Cup for Roy Hodgson's side.

Not since 1958 have the Three Lions headed home after the group stage, yet two defeats and a goalless draw against Costa Rica saw them fall at the first hurdle in Brazil.

It was a frustrating tournament for Hodgson's men, but one which could benefit them in years to come.

Along with old heads like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were a smattering of young, up-and-coming prospects, like Raheem Sterling, Luke Shaw and Barkley.

The trio impressed during their time with England and the latter knows they must now fulfil their potential.

"It is a big disappointment from my point of view but you have got to have these type of things to learn from," Barkley, 20, said of this World Cup.

"[The more experienced players] have passed advice onto us. I am a young lad and hearing advice from them throughout this tournament has helped me. It'll help me in the future and the other younger lads in this squad.

"I think I have benefited from this tournament and I think all the other younger lads will have, even though we didn't do well on the pitch. I thought being around all the experienced players has been good for me.

"We have got good young midfielders like Jack (Wilshere) and Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, Raheem.

"We've got young lads coming through who are showing in the Premier League week in, week out what they can do.

"We have got to be able to do that at international level as we get older and hopefully in the Euros in two years' time, we are going to be ready for that."

Whether Lampard or Gerrard are there to help in qualifying for that tournament remains to be seen, with both considering international retirement after long, varied England careers.

"Obviously, I want them to carry on but it is their decision, isn't it?" Barkley said of that prospect.

"We have got to stay positive and hopefully they do stay on. But if they don't, the younger lads have got to step up and be able to take responsibility.

"I believe I can step up because I believe in myself. I am confident. It is a big disappointment being in a tournament and going out. I think I will learn from it and it will help me in the future for England."

Barkley and his team-mates returned home from Brazil on Wednesday morning, with the elder statesmen of the group telling the 20-year-old to take this disappointment in his stride.

That is not the only advice the likes of Lampard and Gerrard have given the Everton playmaker, whose raw talent is clear to see.

"They've told me to take on the pitch what you are doing at your club," Barkley said.

"[I have been] seeing how they prepare for games at big tournaments. I haven't played Champions League or in the Europa League, I haven't played against these type of countries.

"They obviously give us advice what to do on the pitch about not taking risks in your own half.

"They give great advice and you have got to listen to them because they are high-calibre players."


PA

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