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    Barkley: The England World Cup squad is my goal

    Roy Hodgson has told Ross Barkley to focus on making the England World Cup squad in Brazil

    “I have set my sights on the World Cup,” said Barkley. “It’s a goal for me. It will be hard, but through hard work hopefully I can get on the flight there.

    “He told me to keep working hard and keep doing what I have been doing since the start of the season and if there comes a time that, because I am young, I’m on the bench, don’t let your head go down.

    “He believes in me. He has high hopes for me. He sees me being able to go to Brazil if I keep progressing as I have done since the start of the season.” Barkley finished last season playing for England Under-20s at the World Cup in Turkey.

    He admitted his elevation to the senior squad took him by surprise, but he is determined to seize the opportunity.

    “For the first two days I was a bit star-struck looking at Lampard and Gerrard,” said Barkley. “But being around Jags [Phil Jagielka] and Bainesy [Leighton Baines], they got me involved and it felt as though I was meant to be there.”

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