Sheffield United: Ex-Blade on course for World Cup

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Former Blades defender Phil Jagielka insists he will be fully fit for England’s World Cup.

Roy Hodgson has earmarked Jagielka and Gary Cahill as his first-choice centre-half pairing for the World Cup.

There were doubts about whether Jagielka would be available for the tournament after he struggled to recover from a hamstring injury he suffered in February.

The Everton defender was sidelined for two months towards the end of the campaign, but he returned for the final two matches and he is now nearing full fitness after an intense week-long training camp with England in Portugal.

“Last week was important for me to get a few more sessions under my belt,” Jagielka said after a training session at St George’s Park yesterday.

“We had a really good session today and it is about getting myself ready.

“I do not need to be 100 per cent fit this week; it is more about building up and getting match practice before we go out to Miami. Hopefully I will time it perfectly for the opening group game.”

Many perceive England’s defence to be their weak spot, but the Three Lions conceded just four goals in qualifying.

Hodgson will also be comforted going to Brazil knowing that England have not lost a game when Cahill and Jagielka have started together.