Despite being a younger Leeds youth team product Aaron Lennon has skipped ahead of Jinky Jimmy Milner in the England pecking order, making a seamless transition from England under 21 player to full international first teamer. Now our man wants to push on and turn his under 21 caps into senior side appearances. Speaking to the Journal he said:
“Every player wants to get into the England team and I’m no different. I’ve had a half-decent season and if I keep improving, I’ll be knocking on the door. It’s a step up from the Under-21s, who I have played a lot of games for. It will be a great experience for me this summer and that sort of tournament is ideal for trying to move up to the full squad. It gives you vital experience and I’ll know what it’s like playing in major championships, so in that respect I’m looking forward to it.
I played a lot at Leeds and I played almost every game for Aston Villa last year, but I have still got to keep improving. I have been around a long time and played games in Europe and in the Premiership and I’m gaining experience all the time. I turned 21 this year – that surprises people because I have been around for five years.
We just want to finish as high as we can. People wrote us off on Saturday (at Sheffield United), and against Arsenal (on Easter Monday). We have tough places to go to yet like Reading and Portsmouth – and the small matter of Chelsea at home – but we have shown at home we can push anyone. We have to finish on a positive note and get into Europe if we can. We have just got to take it a game at a time and attempt to put a string of results together. The Intertoto Cup qualifier could be eighth in the league, so who knows?
It’s great to hear your name sung from the terraces. I’ve been pleased with my form over the season and have played just about every game. I feel fresh – even though the season has been long, I am in great shape and I feel as though I have come on in leaps and bounds this year.’
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