Lallana reflects on 'proud week'
Adam Lallana has enjoyed the best footballing week of his career, but that could soon be gazumped as the Southampton captain prepares to join up with England.
The 25-year-old academy graduate has been with Saints through thick and thin, helping them to recover from relegation to the third tier with back-to-back promotions.
Lallana is now captain at St Mary's and has played an integral role in what has been the club's best ever start to a top-flight season - performances which led to him this week being named among a trio of Southampton players called up by England.
As if that was not enough, England manager Roy Hodgson was at St Mary's on Saturday to witness the attacking midfielder's man-of-the-match display in the 4-1 defeat of Hull in which he scored an exquisite solo effort.
"Someone did mention [Roy was in the crowd] but it is one of those things you have to try and put to the back of your mind and concentrate on your job," Lallana, an unused England substitute against Ukraine last year, said.
"Every time I play I just want to go on to the pitch and enjoy my football and play to the best of my ability, help the team get three points.
"I feel like I am playing with freedom and confidence at the minute, as the team is, and that is one of the main reasons why we are getting these good results."
Asked if the last few days have made this the best week of his career, Lallana said: "I think so, but I just want to keep my feet on the ground and keep working hard.
"I want to enjoy my time away with England and hopefully, if I get some minutes, try to impress."
Lallana is joined in the squad to face Chile and Germany by Southampton team-mates Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez.
They too impressed in Saturday's win against Hull and will all travel up to St George's Park on Tuesday to link up with Hodgson's side.
"It has been an emotional week, a very proud week for my family," Lallana said.
"It has been a proud week for the club as well, with J-Rod and Rickie also being named in the squad.
"It just proves how far the club has come forward and it is credit to not just the players, but the management staff, chairman, the scouting and recruitment department, and the fans, who have stuck with us when we were in League One not so long ago.
"We are happy with the way things are going and we just want to keep performing well.
"Our next game is Arsenal at the Emirates and it doesn't get much tougher than that."
Arsenal may be league leaders but they will be wary of the threat posed by high-flying Saints.
Hull defender Paul McShane praised Mauricio Pochettino's side after Saturday's match, although felt City did not do themselves justice.
"It was very disappointing," he said. "We have been doing well recently and I think the first 45 minutes killed us, really.
"We never really got going and they were bang at it, so three goals in the first half has killed us. It is disappointing.
"Southampton were very good, a very good side and have done well this season, but I just think we didn't get going in the first half.
"In the second half we played better but we were 3-0 down, so the game was basically nearly over.
"They are a good side, all credit to them, but I think we just made it easy for them in the first half."