His determination has paid dividends after receiving his first call-up to the Three Lions squad for Wednesday's Wembley friendly against Norway and next week's European Championship qualifier in Switzerland following Villa's unbeaten start to the Premier League season.
"Maybe (the England call-up) is a bit of a reward, but the hard work starts again now," he said. "I have to go down and train with some top players.
"I will try to be the same and give 100 per cent, not 99, not 101, just be the same every time and hopefully it is enough.
"I don't think it is so much about taking over from them and I won't look at it thinking I'm trying to do what they did.
"They are different type of players to me."
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