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First team football vital for Lescott

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25 Mar 2013 08:17:35

First team football vital for Lescott

Joleon Lescott admits his World Cup dreams are likely to hinge on whether he is playing regular first-team football next season.

Having won over the plaudits who questioned his £24million price tag, Lescott was part of City's title-winning side last year and he then went on to gain acclaim with England, playing every minute of the Three Lions' Euro 2012 campaign.

Lescott has since dropped down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium but is back in the England fold due to the recent injury crisis, and said: "If you'd asked me last year what my chances were of making the World Cup squad then I'd have said: 'yeah, pretty good.' But you don't know. If I can play more regularly at club level then I think I'll be there."

He added: "Towards the end of the season, I'll address that. But for now, I'm fully focused on England and what England need to do."

The former Wolves and Everton centre-back did not feature in the international friendlies against Sweden and Brazil but ended Friday's 8-0 win over San Marino as captain and is now likely to be one of the first names on Roy Hodgson's team sheet for Tuesday's crunch qualifier against Montenegro.

Hodgson did not shirk around the issue when he called Lescott to inform him he was not in his squad for the latest double-header. He was not playing enough for his club, the 65-year-old said.

But, to Lescott's credit, he did not sulk. Instead, just 48 hours after watching City lose to his old team Everton from the bench, Lescott was making plans to head to Carrington to train on his own while his team-mates rested.

City's kitwoman, used to seeing Lescott turn up on his day off, had even laid Lescott's training gear out for him, but she had to put it away after hearing of the defender's call-up after injuries to Phil Jagielka, Michael Dawson, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Cahill.

He said: "I was going in on Monday but I had to cancel that because I knew I was training on the Tuesday (with England).

"I always tend to go in on my days off. I don't want to give anyone the excuse or justify the reason that I have not been playing. I want to give myself the best opportunity."


PA

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