TOM CLEVERLEY HOPING TO IMPRESS
Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is hoping to press his Euro 2012 claims in England's friendly with Holland next Wednesday.
It is anticipated interim manager Stuart Pearce will hand a number of inexperienced players their chance when he unveils his squad on Thursday morning.
That speculation was given credence by confirmation Joleon Lescott will not be involved, even though fellow central defenders John Terry and Phil Jagielka have been ruled out through injury.
And Cleverley, still to make his debut despite two call-ups to senior ranks earlier in the season, is amongst those hoping to take advantage.
"I don't really listen to what people are saying," said the 22-year-old.
"I just go out and play my football.
"If I can find some good form from now until the end of the season, I would be more than happy to be involved in the European Championships.
"I am not sure whether it is a good time though.
"I know Stuart Pearce quite well from my time with the Under-21s. He is a good manager. Hopefully I will be involved."
It had been anticipated Lescott would also be included.
However, following Wednesday night's Europa League victory over Porto, the Manchester City defender confirmed he will not be involved.
"I have been told I am not involved," said Lescott. "It is a chance for other players to get involved and prove what good players they are."
In addition to Cleverley, Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the most likely uncapped player to make his international bows.
However, it is anticipated some experienced players will be involved.
Lescott's City team-mate Micah Richards will have more reason than most to be anxiously waiting for news of the squad, which will be announced at Wembley on Thursday morning.
That Richards added just a single cap to his overall tally of 12 during Fabio Capello's near four-year stint in charge was most perplexing.
Despite his outstanding form for City, it seemed Capello never trusted Richards' defensive capabilities.
Nevertheless, half a game against France in November 2010 is scant reward for his efforts at Manchester City, where he was installed as skipper during Vincent Kompany's recent suspension.
So, just over a fortnight after the Italian swept out of office in the most dramatic of circumstances, Richards will discover whether anything has changed.
Pearce knows all about Richards from the time they spent together with England's Under-21 squad, but then the same could also be said of Kyle Walker and Manchester United duo Smalling and Jones, who all started at right-back for the seniors under Capello, in addition to Liverpool's Glen Johnson, who has previously been thought of as first-choice.
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