Phil Jones ready for England Under-21 call
Blackburn defender Phil Jones is one of the rookies of the England Under-21 squad on duty at Carrow Road tonight – but is undaunted at the prospect of a key play-off match in front of a full house.
The 18-year-old centre-half has been a Rovers regular in the Premier League this season – he now has 21 first team games under his belt – and can hardly wait for the two-leg contest with Romania.
Jones, hoping to win his fourth under-21 cap this evening, said: 'For me it's an honour to represent your country at any level. I played for the under-19s last summer and really enjoyed that and to get the under-21 call-up was a dream come true.
'I'm loving every minute of it at the moment. I'm playing regularly for my club in the Premier League and I can't ask for much more than that.'
It's country before club for Jones tonight, however, with England's youngsters targeting a place in European Championship finals in Denmark.
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'It's a great incentive for all the lads – to be part of the championships next summer would be a massive thing for us. But we need to concentrate on tonight's game first,' he said.
'We're expecting a really tough encounter with Romania. We've studied them, we know they're a good side and it's going to be tough to win.
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'We've got to keep it tight in any game, that's our job, but we've got to look to get a goal and see where that can take us.'
Jones, whose family will travel to both legs of the tie against Romania, said he had enjoyed his first visit to Norwich – and the training centre at Colney.
'There have been some good games down at Norwich's training ground. They've provided us with the facilities for us to use and I'm very impressed,' he said.
'There will be a decent crowd at Carrow Road. It's going to be a great atmosphere and one we're looking forward to.
'We've got a great bunch of lads and a lot of quality in every position.
'Some of us are relatively new to it but we've all gelled together well.'