Lescott: England ready for Swiss battle

Joleon Lescott insists England are focused on their Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland despite it coming soon after a long domestic campaign.Defender Lescott enjoyed a good season for his club side, with Manchester City claiming the FA Cup and finishing third in the English Premier League to secure automatic Champions League qualification.

Fabio Capello’s England team head into Saturday’s clash with Switzerland at Wembley on top of Group G but level on 10 points with Montenegro, and Lescott said a win would be invaluable.

“I think all the games are must win for us, to be honest,” Lescott said.

“The importance of this one is obviously highlighted, but we’re coming off the back of a good performance against Wales (a 2-0 win in Cardiff on March 26) so we’re feeling confident we can get the three points.”

Lescott said his Manchester City team-mates are looking forward to recharging their batteries after a draining campaign, but would only consider himself to be on holiday once the Switzerland game was over.

“I wouldn’t say we’re tired but we are looking forward to the break,” he said.

“But in the last few weeks we have finished the season well. We won the FA Cup and claimed a Champions League position. It’s been an exciting time for me so I’m looking forward to being involved on Saturday and then enjoying my break.”

“We know Switzerland are going to have a strong team and if we don’t apply ourselves it’s a potential banana skin.”

Lescott, 28, said he would find it difficult to become a regular in the England first team while first-choice centre backs John Terry and Rio Ferdinand are active, but he insisted he would keep working hard in pursuit of that goal.

“It’s going to be hard to get into the team. They’re two of the best in the world and have been there for a number of years so it’s not going to be an easy task,” he said.

“If it was (easy) then we wouldn’t be the force we are at international level.”

“If I can keep playing well, get into the Manchester City side and play Champions League football, that can only bode well for me. I’ll be ready if called upon.”

With strikers Wayne Rooney suspended and Jermaine Defoe injured, Darren Bent has a chance to stake his own claim for a regular spot in England’s XI.

Bent scored 24 goals in the Premier League this season for Sunderland and Aston Villa.

“I seem to sit in this chair and people keep asking me when I will establish myself,” he said.

“All I can do is keep doing what I’m doing, keep playing for England, and as long as Fabio Capello keeps selecting me, I must be doing something right.”

 


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