Clyne craving first England cap

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Published: Sunday 2nd November 2014 by The News Editor

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Nathaniel Clyne is hoping his role in Southampton’s stellar start to the season can propel him all the way to the England side.

The 23-year-old has been ever-present in Saints’ charge to second place in the Barclays Premier League, making the right-back shirt his own following Calum Chambers’ move to Arsenal.

He was rewarded with a first international call-up for last month’s Euro 2016 double header against San Marino and Estonia but was an unused substitute in both games.

Roy Hodgson’s rare appearance at the KC Stadium to watch Southampton’s 1-0 win over Hull gave Clyne the chance to press his case again and he hopes he has done enough.

“It’s always good to play for your country. If you play well then you get picked up,” he said.

“Last time, I did it. Hopefully I can get called up again and receive my first cap.

“I think I’ve got the ability to play for my country, definitely. I’m playing with lots of confidence.

“Hopefully I can get the call up next time.”

Southampton needed a mis-hit clearance from Hull’s third-choice goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic and wonderful 40-yard strike from Victor Wanyama to see off Hull, but their winning habit is becoming unshakeable.

When previous boss Mauricio Pochettino left for Tottenham in the summer and the likes of Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren followed him out of the door, a season of struggle was widely predicted.

Yet they have now won 10 of their last 11 matches in all competitions, with the meanest defence in the top flight and only Chelsea above them.

Unsurprisingly, spirits are high.

“We keep winning and getting clean sheets, hopefully we can keep up our run of form and see where we go with it,” said Clyne.

“A few of the lads are talking about the Europa League, Europe and stuff. But we’ve just got to keep pushing and hopefully the results will take care of themselves.”

Hull, meanwhile, were unable to build on battling draws at Arsenal and Liverpool in their previous two matches.

Despite the slender scoreline, Southampton were clearly the better side and could have added as many as three to their tally with better finishing.

Nevertheless, they would be forgiven for wondering what might have been had Jakupovic, starting in the Premier League for only the third time with Allan McGregor and Steve Harper injured, not erred.

He sent the ball straight to Wanyama when attempting to clear, leaving himself badly out of position as the ball sailed back into his net.

But midfielder Stephen Quinn insists the Swiss must put the incident behind him as soon as possible.

“It’s been difficult for Eldin, he’s been a long time out as second or third choice keeper and he came in and did ever so well at Liverpool last week,” said Quinn.

“He’s a good keeper, but he made a simple mistake and a lot of the time you can get away with those.

“I’m sure he will be dejected but he’s got to be a man about it and get his head up because it looks like he’ll be starting again next week.

“You can’t dwell on it. He has to look to the next game and try to improve.”

Published: Sunday 2nd November 2014 by The News Editor

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