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VfL Wolfsburg (A) Thu 27 Nov 2014, 18:00, Europa League

Ross Eyes England Future

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

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Ross Barkley has spoken of his World Cup experience after playing England's third and final game in full.

The Everton Academy graduate featured in all of the Three Lions' group games and started Tuesday's 0-0 draw against Costa Rica.

After making his debut as a substitute against Moldova in September, he amassed five more caps before being selected in the squad bound for Brazil.

And after emerging from the bench in narrow defeats against Italy and Uruguay earlier this month, Barkley was elated to be involved from the first whistle in Belo Horizonte despite England's campaign being cut short.

"It was brilliant to be out there in my first competitive start," he said after the match. "We kept a clean sheet and we've got to take positives from the game.

"I'm happy with my performance but overall I thought the team did well and defended well. Unfortunately we didn't get the win but we've got to learn from these situations."

Failing to qualify for the knockout stages means an early flight home for Roy Hodgson's side, but with Barkley among a host of fresh blood deployed in Brazil, the midfielder is optimistic over his nation's hopes for the future.

He continued: "It's a big disappointment from my point of view but you've got to experience these type of things to learn. I'm a young lad and hearing advice from [the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard] throughout this tournament has helped me and will help the other young lads for the future.

"I think I have benefited from it, as well as the others. Even though we didn't do well on the pitch, I thought being around all the experienced players has been good for us."

Ross Barkley

With England skipper Gerrard now aged 34 and Lampard 36, the duo have admitted they are yet to make a decision on their international future.

And while Barkley admits he is enjoying learning from the older heads among the set-up, he believes the new generation are equipped to carry the torch.

He added: "I want them to carry on but it's their decision. You've got to stay positive and if they don't, we've got to step up and take responsibility.

"We've got good young players like Jack Wilshere, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw and Raheem Sterling here that are showing the Premier League what they can do week-in, week-out.

"We've got to be able to show we can do that at international level as we get older and hopefully in two years' time at the Euros, we'll be ready."

His season finally over, the 20-year-old will now enjoy an extended summer break before returning for pre-season at Finch Farm next month.

With Everton set for a busy campaign competing on four fronts domestically and in Europe, he admits home is where the focus is to ensure he is on track for the national side.

"I want to do well at my Club, get in the England squads for the future and cement my place," he explained.

"The experienced players aren't getting any younger so the younger lads need to step up and be counted.

"I've got to be positive. In two years' time, we've got to be thinking we can do well because we haven't done that here. We've got to be positive when thinking ahead because we've got players coming through, even those who aren't in the squad, who are capable of doing great things.

"I believe I can step up. I believe in myself because I'm confident. It's a big disappointment going out of the tournament but I think it'll help me in the future for England."

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