Belfast Telegraph

Shawcross still has England hopes

Ryan Shawcross admits he finds it tough to accept that he has not been given a second chance by England.

The Stoke defender made his only appearance for the national side in a friendly against Sweden two years ago.

His cause has consistently been pushed by current and former Stoke managers Mark Hughes and Tony Pulis but Shawcross is not optimistic.

In an interview in the Stoke programme ahead of their clash with Arsenal, the 27-year-old said: "It's been difficult to accept that I haven't had another opportunity in the squad.

"It's not something that I allow to impact me any more, though, because it's something that is well and truly out of my hands.

"I don't look at the squads any more because I presume that I'm nowhere near it and I'm not going to get in.

"I feel I have played my best football under the manager here and I have still been nowhere near being included. All I can do is keep working hard, keep enjoying my time here and then what will be, will be.

"If I get another chance then I will be absolutely delighted, and I would do everything I can to keep my spot in there, but if that call doesn't come then I will just accept it and keep doing what I can to help this club improve."

Shawcross made his 300th appearance for Stoke in their defeat by Liverpool last weekend having been a virtual ever present during the Potters' time in the Premier League.

A major highlight was leading his team to the FA Cup final in 2011, which earned the club European football during the following season.

This campaign has been stuttering so far but Shawcross is a big fan of Hughes and believes the Welshman can guide Stoke back into Europe.

The defender said: "I am convinced that under Mark Hughes we can achieve that. We have a new philosophy now, a different style of play, and, whilst results haven't gone our way recently, we feel we are taking steps in the right direction."

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