‘It’s good to be back’

Tom Carroll put any bad memories of Lithuania to bed on Friday evening, after sealing his international comeback with a fluid display in England’s midfield during their 1-0 win in Kaunas.

The Spurs playmaker, currently on loan with Swansea City, last featured for the Three Lions in the home game against Lithuania in Ipswich last October.

He was forced off after just 16 minutes of that game with a knee injury following a heavy tackle, which saw him miss the rest of England’s games last season.

Tom Carroll finds time for a laugh during his England photo-shoot.

Carroll has settled straight back into the Under-21s squad this week

But after a good pre-season with Spurs this summer and a subsequent move to South Wales, Carroll has slotted straight back into Gareth Southgate’s squad and was instrumental in helping England dominate possession in Kaunas.

“It’s good to be back involved with England,” he told TheFA.com

“Last time [against Lithuania] I only got about ten minutes before I got injured so it was nice to get back out there and get the win.

“I’m feeling fine, it was nice to get 90 minutes and I was fairly happy with how things went.”

The England squad will now remain at their base in Kaunas until Monday, with the preparations for next Tuesday’s final game with Moldova already underway ahead of the journey there on Monday.

And with an impressive record of eight wins from their nine games so far to see them already qualified for next month’s play-offs, Carroll and his team-mates have no intention of slowing down their momentum.

“We played well against Lithuania and with Moldova coming up, we know that’s going to be a tough game as well,” added the former Leyton Orient and QPR loanee.

Nathan Redmond, Tom Carroll and Saido Berahino celebrate the goal against Moldova.

Carroll (centre) is a popular member of Southgate’s squad

“So we’ll be looking to go about things in the same way and hopefully get a win there.

“I think that’s important, as it puts us in good stead for the two play-off games and then hopefully the Euros next summer.

“The momentum is key and we’re looking to get nothing less than three points out of the game on Tuesday.

“And with the players we’ve got here, we’re capable of doing that.”

A popular figure within the squad, Carroll’s return to the group was greeted affectionately by his team-mates on arrival at St. George’s Park last weekend.

And he admits it’s been easy for him to fit straight back into the international set-up under Southgate and his staff.

“The lads are a good bunch,” he said. 

“And it’s always nice to come away with England and it helps that the boys get on so well.”