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If we stay at the top, I’ll stay in England set-up, says Leon Osman

LEON OSMAN admits Everton will have to maintain their position near the top of the Premier League if he is to add to his first England cap at the age of 31.

LEON OSMAN admits Everton will have to maintain their position near the top of the Premier League if he is to add to his first England cap at the age of 31.

The midfielder made his debut during Wednesday night’s 4-2 defeat against Sweden in a friendly international at the Friends Arena in which Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored all four goals for the home side.

It has come after a start to the season which has seen the Toffees pushing for a Champions League place rather than their normal stuttering form at the beginning of a campaign.

Osman said: “I came here to show I was capable of playing at this level. I felt like I was, and hopefully I showed people and showed myself that I can.

“I was made up to be here, desperate to get my first cap and now I’ve done so, I want more.

“I’m not going to jump ahead of myself. I’m taking one step at a time and I’m delighted I’ve played the game.

“Hopefully people thought I did OK and we will look to the next game when it comes. But the vital thing is for myself and Everton to keep our form going.

“I’ve been playing for Everton for a number of years but it wasn’t until we started playing the football that we have, that I managed to push into the squad.

“It is important for me, if I’ve got any aspirations of staying in the squad, that we stay at the top of the league.”

Osman concedes he faces a battle with his mother and father to keep possession of his first cap.

He said: “I think I’ll have to wrestle my mum and dad for it. That’s the type of people they are!

“They’ve still got my England schoolboy caps that they’ve never given me back.

“It is special to get that cap. To have played 90 minutes as well, I’m delighted with that.”

Osman was the oldest of six debutants against the Swedes and felt at ease at the style of football on the international stage.

He said: “I still feel like I’m young in the head and most people back at Everton would tell you that I’m young in the head.

“I’m not sure if that is a compliment or not!

“People say it’s a big step up but it seemed to be the type of football I like to play, keeping possession of the ball and trying to find opportunities when you can.

“I felt it went OK in that department.”

Osman believes England can take plenty of plus points from the game despite suffering their first defeat – barring their Euro 2012 penalty heartbreak against Italy – under head coach Roy Hodgson.

He said: “Football is a result business and I’m delighted I’ve made my debut but a bit sad I was on the losing end.

“We played reasonably well for 65 minutes and then Ibrahimovic took over.

“It was a terrific performance by him. To score four goals in a game at international level isn’t really heard of.

“The manner in which he scored the goals was difficult to defend against.

“But our young players showed the future is bright.

“The quality of players at such young ages, people like Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Zaha coming on as well, bodes well. They are very exciting players.”

 

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