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Adam Lallana still focused on impressing England manager Hodgson

Adam Lallana hopes that he is able to impress England manager Roy Hodgson sufficiently over the coming days to earn a starting place in his side World Cup opener against Italy on Saturday.

Winger Adam Lallana is determined to earn a place in the starting line-up to  face Italy on Saturday
Winger Adam Lallana is determined to earn a place in the starting line-up to face Italy on Saturday

An impressive season with club side Southampton, during which he made his international debut, has led to suggestions that the midfielder will start against the Italians. He is not about to take his position for granted, however.

"It would mean the world [to play]," said Lallana. "But the main thing is getting the three points and whether that comes with me off the bench or in the starting line-up, the result is all that matters. We have got a few days left to try and impress the manager."

Lallana has recognised the competition which exists within Hodgson's squad, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also able to join in with traning yesterday as he battles for fitness. "It's a good feeling. We all want the same outcome and that's a win. It's healthy," added Lallana.

Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a knee injury during a friendly with Ecuador last week, but went through a serious of strenuous drills at the England training base yesterday. "It's really optimistic seeing him running," said Lallana. "It's a massive step and fingers crossed he'll be fit for the group stages."

That sentiment was echoed by Jack Wilshere, who also plays alongside Oxlade-Chamberlain for Arsenal. "He did well, some running which, five days after an injury, is good. He's young, the body heals better when you're younger," said Wilshere.

"He has 24-hour treatment too. Back at the clubs it can take a bit longer but he's got treatment all the time. Hopefully we can get him training. He's got a great attitude, he had a knee injury in the season and came back and looked good. We have seen him come back, he's fresh and we can hopefully get him back."

Wilshere is understood to be competing with Liverpool's Jordan Henderson for a place in England's midfield. However, the Arsenal man does not see it that way.

"Jordan has had a great season, so has Frank [Lampard], Ross [Barkley], Alex [Oxlade-Chamberlain] . . ." added Wilshere.

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