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Rivalry is friendly - Jagielka

21 Oct 2012 09:24:00

Rivalry is friendly - Jagielka

Phil Jagielka insists there is no "dog eat dog" mentality amongst England's central defenders as they all look to establish themselves. Jagielka partnered Joleon Lescott during the midweek 1-1 draw with Poland in a World Cup qualifier in Warsaw, with Gary Cahill left out by head coach Roy Hodgson. But the Everton player knows he has to continue to play well for his club and maintain their fine start to the campaign to continue to be picked for England. Jagielka said: "It was nice to come away with England having won a few games rather than having won no games at the start of the season. "It was nice to come away confident but to be honest the lads with England are really easy to get along with. "As much as I'm competing with people for places, it's not dog eat dog. "It's very much looking out for each other. We back each other and try and help each other out." However, Jagielka admitted: "First and foremost I need to play well for Everton and keep my place at Everton and keep us at the right end of the table. "If that takes care of itself, then obviously England will hopefully come along too. "But if I have a dip in form, or the team doesn't play well, then it will be hard to get in the squad, let alone the first XI. "It's been a good start but it's only six or seven games and I'm not getting too carried away with how we're doing." Jagielka believes goalkeeper Joe Hart should not bear all the criticism for Poland's equaliser, even though the Manchester City keeper shouldered the responsibility immediately after the game. He said: "I don't think it was that clear cut. It wasn't like someone shot from 30 yards and it bobbled over the line. "Joe came out for a corner and didn't quite get there but that happens at any level of football. We can't rely on Joe to come out every single time and take every single cross. "It's not fair of us to put that kind of expectation on him. He got given quite a few back passes that bobbled all over the place so he did his fair share. "It's just unfortunate we couldn't keep a clean sheet." Jagielka was critical of the surface in the National Stadium after the game had been delayed for 24 hours by a waterlogged pitch. He said: "You are not used to playing on those sort of pitches. If you put your standing foot on the ground, it would leave a big crater. "When you were going to play long passes your were worried about slipping over or the ball taking a bobble. It was not ideal to play on a pitch like that but what can you do? "Most pitches in England now are sand based and it doesn't happen, They drain really well and you don't get big craters in the pitch. It was like a proper old-school pitch." It was a proud moment for Jagielka when he played in Warsaw given that his grandmother, who lives just outside Northwich, is Polish. He added: "It was a big thing to play in Poland given my family connections. I was desperate to get on the plane to come to Poland for the Euros. "I didn't get any game time and we played in the Ukraine anyway so it wouldn't have mattered. "To have been named in the squad and actually get 90 minutes in Poland was nice. It meant I could go home and tell my grandma. "She will tell me off probably for not letting Poland win! I'll take her the match programme and she'll get to read all the Polish stuff."


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