Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks is desperate to put the disappointment of missing out on the Nations League finals behind him by breaking back into Gareth Southgate’s England plans.
Winks was not included in Southgate’s squad for the summer conclusion of the inaugural tournament as he had only just come back from groin surgery.
He played for Spurs in the Champions League final on June 1, but the England boss chose not to select him for the subsequent Portugal trip.
The 23-year-old, who has won three caps for his country, has been a mainstay for his club so far this season and hopes to have grabbed the attention of Southgate, who will name his squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo on Thursday.
“It was difficult to watch the boys play and perform after the Champions League and not being involved,” he said.
“But the manager called me and I totally respect and understand his decision and why he did it. All I can do is work hard and get back in the team.
“It is something that is always in the back of my head. I want to be fit and selected for England. Everybody wants to play for their country.
“But first and foremost it is about performing for Tottenham, improving for Tottenham and performances will warrant those call-ups and opportunities.
“Gareth is always positive, he always gives his opinion and I always respect the manager’s decision.”
Winks has been part of a Spurs team who have not set the Premier League alight in the opening three games, the last of which seeing them lose 1-0 at home to Newcastle.
Boss Mauricio Pochettino has continually spoken about how the European transfer window is unsettling his squad, with the futures of Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Victor Wanyama still unclear.
But Winks insists that uncertainty has not filtered into the dressing room.
“Not really, no one has really taken notice of that, our focus is just on every game we have and every training session we have,” he said. “We don’t think about that.”
Asked if Eriksen, who has been at the centre of the speculation, remains committed to the club, Winks added: “Yeah, of course. Every player is 100 per cent committed to the club, every player wants to do well and do big things at Tottenham and that will never change.”
Pochettino will hope his side remain unaffected when they visit Arsenal on Sunday for the north London derby.
And Winks reckons winning at the Emirates Stadium, for the first time in the league since 2010, would send out a big statement.
“They are massive (games). When you play these big teams in the league it is important to make a statement by winning and put your marker down,” he said.
“Arsenal is going to be a big test. We had Manchester City last week and we came away with a positive result (2-2 draw on August 17) so hopefully we can do the same next week.”
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