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Lescott enjoying Jags partnership

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19 Oct 2012 07:31:00

Lescott enjoying Jags partnership

Joleon Lescott wants himself and Phil Jagielka to form England's new first-choice centre-back pairing after the end of the Terry-Ferdinand era.

Lescott and Jagielka played together at youth level with England and then at Everton before the former made the move to Manchester City. Lescott has become a first-choice player under head coach Roy Hodgson, starting eight of his 11 matches in charge, and was an ever present at Euro 2012. Jagielka also now appears to be moving up the pecking order and the pair have been chosen by Hodgson for England's two most testing World Cup qualifiers to date against Ukraine and Poland.

When asked if himself and Jagielka can become the new centre-half pair, Lescott said:

"We'd like to believe so. Obviously Gary Cahill has played a number of games and is out here (in Poland).

"Ryan Bertrand is also a quality player. But, if the manager believes myself and Jags can make the positions ours, then great and hopefully we can do that. "We grew up together. We played from England Under-18s, then at Everton, and it is a level of trust."

Jagielka said: "I've known Joleon for a long time and we've played together on a few occasions for Everton and England.

"If our partnership is the reason that I get in with England alongside him, then I'll be ecstatic."

Lescott was partially at fault with Poland's equaliser in the 1-1 draw in Warsaw on Wednesday night although keeper Joe Hart also shouldered some of the blame.

But Lescott said: "If you are calling that an error, then he is going to be some keeper. "He is always going to say that because he is a leader in a way but we've all got to take responsibility. It was not solely his error. "It was a combination of errors and nine times out of 10, if you do that it will lead to a goal. "Joe is a strong character. I've no doubt about Joe's ability or character."

Lescott insists England were always anticipating a battle to qualify for Brazil but believes that may work in their favour. He said: "We never expected it to be easy and, in a way, hopefully it isn't that easy. "In previous qualifiers, we've strolled through to tournaments and not looked as effective when we've got there.

"Maybe if we struggle to get there, but we do get to Brazil, hopefully it will stand us in good stead and it will be easier once there. "But having said that, I don't think any result away from home is a negative one. We didn't play as well as we would have liked but it is important to get results in qualifying rounds. "We dug in and got a point against a good Polish side and now move onto the next game." J

agielka echoed Lescott's sentiments and said: "As long as we qualify for the World Cup, it doesn't matter where we get the points from. "It's about getting as many as we can at this stage. It's going to be a long campaign to qualify." Lescott refused to use the postponement of the game from Tuesday because of a waterlogged pitch as an excuse for England's below-par performance.

He said: "Tuesday night is one of those things and we are not going to use that as an excuse. Poland won't use it as an excuse. "We all prepared for the game, turned up, then just went back to the hotel and prepared for the game again. "We had an inkling early on it might be called off because of the conditions so the lads were quite relaxed about it. "The pitch wasn't great but we've all played on pitches in similar conditions."


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