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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Barkley Signals England Intent

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Ross Barkley insists England Under-20s can go all the way and win the World Cup.

Barkley, part of a five-strong Everton contingent in the Three Lions party, is set to feature against Iraq on Sunday evening.

And with English youth development very much under the spotlight at present, the Blues youngster explained why it is important to remain positive.

He said: “We are here to win the tournament. That's the only way we can approach things.

“There are a lot of good teams at the World Cup, but we believe we can go a long way.

“It is a good opportunity for us to show that we have got good players coming up in England.”

The 20-year-old midfielder has more Premier League experience than most of his colleagues but admits this tournament is offering its own challenges.

“We have been in Antalya for ten days now and the biggest thing we have had to get used to is the heat," he revealed.

“It was 34 degrees yesterday and though it's cooler when the matches kick-off, it still takes some getting used to.”

Sunday's opponents from the gulf may not sound like a fearsome football powerhouse but Barkley remains watchful.

He added: “Iraq have a few players who have already won caps at senior level, so we need to make sure we play as a team,” he explained.

“If we do that, we are confident we can get off to a good start.”

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