England midfielder Adam Lallana is hoping to impress manager Roy Hodgson sufficiently enough over the coming days to earn a place in the starting line-up to face Italy on Saturday.The Southampton playmaker is widely thought to be nailed on to face the Azzuri in England’s World Cup opener.
He has edged his way into the side this season on the back of a stellar time with Southampton, but is not taking his place for granted.
“It would mean the world (to play),” he told Sky Sports News.
“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 recognises the competition in the squad, and added: “It’s a good feeling. We all want the same outcome and that’s a win. It’s healthy.”
England trained at their Urca military base on Monday and were joined by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Arsenal man went through some strenuous running drills as he steps up his recovery from the knee injury suffered against Ecuador last week.
“It’s really optimistic seeing him running,” Lallana said. “It’s a massive step and fingers crossed he’ll be fit for the group stages.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s club team-mate Jack Wilshere was also heartened to see him out on the field.
“He did well, some running which, five days after an injury, is good. He’s young, the body heals better when you’re younger,” he said.
“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 thought to be competing with Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson for a spot in England’s midfield but he does not see it that way.
“There is that (competition) throughout the squad but it would be disrespectful to Frank Lampard and Ross Barkley - Frank has played for England over 100 times - to say it was between me and Jordan.
“Jordan has had a great season, so has Frank, Ross, Alex...”