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SPORTS UPDATE

Ward-Prowse motivated for Three Lions ahead World Cup

Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse says the pain of not being included in England’s squad for the European Championships motivates him to ensure there will be no repeat ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.

Ward-Prowse, who has 10 caps and two goals to his name for England, was named in Gareth Southgate’s provisional squad for last summer’s European Championships, but the 27-year-old was omitted from the final squad ahead of the tournament.

It meant Ward-Prowse was a spectator as England went on to reach the final, losing on penalties to Italy, and, speaking to Sky Sports, the midfielder has admitted it was a difficult time for him, but he is using it for motivation as he looks to book his spot in Southgate’s squad for Qatar.

“When you are on your holidays in the summer and you are seeing the success the team is having, of course you are excited for them and pleased for them on one hand, but equally you are gutted that you are not there enjoying it.

“It was kind of trying to find that balance of where I was, but I had to use that as motivation to raise my levels even more to make sure I don’t miss out on another one.”

“You are always going to have good moments and bad moments, and it is enjoying the good moments but equally it is how you deal with those bad moments.

“It could have gone either way for me, but I think throughout all the challenges and setbacks I have had back in my career, I always revert back to me and what I can do to affect the situation and that is to get out onto the training pitch and to show people why I should be there.”

Ward-Prowse has been named in Southgate’s squad for England’s final games before World Cup selection.

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