Cahill: We need a response

Gary Cahill says he will look to use his experience and step up to the plate as one of England’s leaders during their Euro 2016 campaign.

The Chelsea defender was ever-present for the Three Lions at the World Cup and has now chalked up 27 appearances, making him one of the team’s most-capped players.

After the disappointment of an early group stage exit from Brazil, England are now preparing for their opening qualifier next week and face Norway in friendly at Wembley on Wednesday.

England v Norway

International Match
8pm, Wednesday 3 September 2014
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
www.TheFA.com/tickets

And Cahill, who will start against the Norwegians, says he just wants to get going again and try to bring back a feel-good factor around the England team.

“I think there’s
going to be a lot of pressure on the
squad because of the disappointment
in the summer, there’s no shying away
from that,” the 28-year-old says in an interview in the official England v Norway match programme.

“People are going to be
looking to us for a reaction. In that
sense, it’s no different to club level
after a defeat, especially one you feel
you shouldn’t have lost – you look to
respond in the next game.” 

He continues: “But at
international level they take that
much longer to come around. When
we went out of the tournament I just
wanted to go straight into another
one. So, this is the next game – it
might be a friendly, but we want
a response and a victory.

“We want to get that feel-good factor back again, for both the players and the fans.” 

While Wayne Rooney was named as Roy Hodgson’s new England captain following the retirements of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, Cahill believes there will be more responsibility on him and some of the older members of the squad.

England are about to embark on an important qualifying campaign, with the Finals in France in 2016 the target.

Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka

Gary Cahill with fellow defender Phil Jagielka

Cahill is determined to start well as they look to build from the World Cup with a new, younger squad. 

“For this next qualifying campaign
there’s going to be more of an
onus on me to be more of a leader,
to try and show my experience,” says the former Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers man.

“Even
though I’m only in the middle of my
career, I feel quite old in the squad!
I’ve taken on a lot from those
experienced players who have
stepped away from the set-up,
but I haven’t necessarily had to
step forward much in the past
because they were always there. 

“So there’s added pressure on me
and the other senior players to step
up.” 

He adds: “We need to start building again.
We’re only human – it was a big
knock not to qualify at the World
Cup and we have to regroup,
rebuild and go again.”

The full interview with Gary Cahill is in the official England v Norway match programme which is available at Wembley on Wednesday or to download via the Apple Newsstand here: www.TheFA.com/digiprog