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Welbeck looks ahead after injury
Published : 05 Jun 2012 23:17:05
Danny Welbeck feared he would suffer Euro 2012 injury heartbreak but is now looking to build on scoring his first goal for England.
The Manchester United striker suffered an ankle setback during the finale to domestic season against Manchester City which cast doubts over his participation in Poland and Ukraine. But unlike John Ruddy, Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill, Welbeck was able to make his comeback and net the winner against Belgium on Saturday.
He demonstrated a cool head in converting the chance laid on for him by United team-mate Ashley Young. Welbeck said: "I was delighted to get my first goal for England. It was something I'd been looking forward to since I was a little kid. I'm now looking to build on that and get more goals under my belt and more caps as well but I'm just glad that I'm fit."
He added: "At times I was thinking 'maybe I won't be able to make it' but I'm glad the manager (Roy Hodgson) kept faith in me and I was always ready to go once I was called upon. When I suffered the injury against City, I did initially fear the worst. That night I went home and all sorts of emotions went through my head.
"I didn't know what was happening until I had the scan in the morning. At that point, it was very downheartening but luckily I've come back from that and it wasn't as bad as I first feared."
Match sharpness will now be the major issue for Welbeck ahead of the Euro 2012 opener against France on June 11 but he is optimistic of being up to speed. He said: "The match fitness is definitely coming along. I've had a few training sessions under my belt and had 55 minutes against Belgium.
"It's coming along and I'm just really looking forward to building on that before the first game next week."
Welbeck received some words of advice from United boss Sir Alex Ferguson before joining up with the England squad. It was Ferguson who had predicted two years ago Welbeck would be "a World Cup player" and he has continued to progress with the Red Devils.
Welbeck said: "Just before I left to meet up with the squad, I had a few words with him (Ferguson) and he was congratulating me on making the squad. He told me to play my normal game once I go out there. As regards his comments (about being a World Cup player), that season I didn't play as many games as I wanted to for United.
"It was tough because you'd be training for weeks and weeks and not getting a game and then you got thrown in once every five weeks. It was tough but when you hear stuff like the manager's comments it does give you a lift although you can't really look too much into it. It's all about yourself and keep pushing yourself to do the best you can."