Three Lions England
Adam Lallana admits the “honeymoon” is over for his England career.
Liverpool midfielder Lallana says it is time he produced his best form on a regular basis at international level and is also determined to break his Three Lions goal-scoring duck.
The 27-year-old believes England have learned some valuable lessons after last summer’s World Cup group-stage exit - and is determined to be part of a successful Euro 2016 campaign in France next summer.
Lallana, who is hoping to win his 15th cap in Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier away to Slovenia, said of representing his country: “I suppose it is overwhelming at first, and I don’t think you’ve seen the best of me for England yet.
“The step up to England is massive - especially for myself coming through the ranks, through the leagues [Lallana played for previous club Southampton in the third-tier and was part of their rise to the Premier League] and yet if you look at the squad I’m one of the senior players. I’m 27 now and I’m really looking to cement my place and kick on.
“I’d like to add goals to my game with England. Get the devil off my back.
In pictures - Republic of Ireland 0-0 England:
"I can’t complain with how it’s gone. It was a massive dream of mine to play for England but I want to forget about that now and take it in my stride so I can really kick on.
“But I’ve had 10 or 11 caps now and the honeymoon period has probably worn off. It’s about trying to forget about that, that I’m playing for my country, so I can concentrate on my natural game and enjoy it as well.”
His wife Emily gave birth to Albie George while his first son, three-year-old Arthur, has already got the football bug.
“He comes to the games, loves coming to Anfield, he was on the pitch at the end of the season, ” said Lallana. “He keeps asking when he can go back.”
His dad can’t wait for next season either as it has been a roller-coaster year.
He endured some frustrating injuries, the Reds’ season tailed off and the World Cup campaign ended in disappointment.
ReutersRed faced: Liverpool must do better next season after a disappointing run-in says Lallana
But Lallana is convinced valuable lessons have been learnt - particularly when it comes to England, as they have made a perfect start to their Euro 2016 campaign.
“The past year has just been full of ups and downs, ” he said. “I’ve had a few injuries, which have set me back in terms of my flow. I’ve got going a couple of times, the team was on a good run and then got injured.
“We got to two semi-finals at Liverpool [in the FA Cup and Capital One Cup, but lost both to Aston Villa and Chelsea] and it was disappointing we couldn’t get to the finals. Then, in the end, finishing sixth, which was disappointing because our target was top four.
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