LONDON – James Ward-Prowse said missing out on last year’s European Championship was hard to swallow but the Southampton midfielder is using that disappointment as motivation to win a place in England’s World Cup squad.
Ward-Prowse was included in Gareth Southgate’s provisional squad for the Euros last year but did not make the final cut for the tournament, where England lost to Italy in the final.
“It was difficult to take,” Ward-Prowse told Sky Sports on Monday.
“It was kind of trying to find that balance of where I was, but I had to use that as motivation to raise my levels even more to make sure I don’t miss out on another one.”
Ward-Prowse has been included in Southgate’s squad for the upcoming Nations League games against Italy and Germany, which are England’s final matches before the World Cup squad is named.
The 27-year-old said getting a call-up for the World Cup squad would be special.
“I have to perform well enough to get in that squad, and I am feeling as though I’m doing that at the moment,” he added.
England are in Group B at the World Cup in Qatar and begin their campaign against Iran on Nov 21.
Meanwhile, Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has been added to the England squad for their upcoming Nations League matches, the FA said on Tuesday.
Henderson was not part of manager Gareth Southgate’s initial squad after missing Liverpool’s last three Premier League games due to a hamstring injury but the club said he was recovering well.
“Henderson has made good progress in his recovery from a hamstring problem and is set to return to full training this week,” Liverpool said in a statement.
The 32-year-old, who has won 69 caps, has made one international appearance this year in a 2-1 friendly win over Switzerland in March.
His return to the England squad comes after Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips withdrew due to a shoulder problem. REUTERS