Arsenal's Theo Walcott has expressed his surprise at becoming a regular in Fabio Capello's England squad. The former Southampton winger has started all four of England's World Cup qualifiers to date and scored a stunning hat-trick in their 4-1 success over Croatia.
"I hadn't expected to play any qualifying games really - I was an unknown quantity," he told the Daily Telegraph.
"But I think that practice match changed his mind a little bit. If you train well, you will start.
"I was thinking, 'I'll be on the bench, I won't start', and then 10 minutes before getting on the coach, he announced the team.
"The first 15 minutes of the match was the most nervous I've been in a football match.
"The England manager is strict. He generates respect, if you mess him about, you'll be out the door. That's why a lot of players are very professional when they come to England now.
"It feels like I'm more part of the squad now."
"You can't play well in every game, it's impossible," the 19 year old continued. "I've got a brilliant manager who doesn't want to burn me out.
"I can improve my heading - I could score four goals a season just getting on the back post.
"I need to work on my left foot as well."