Doha (Qatar), Nov 19 () Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher was one of the surprises when England coach Gareth Southgate named his squad for the Qatar World Cup.
Although he is down the midfield pecking order, Gallagher believes he has plenty to offer over the coming month.
The 22-year-old came to prominence last season while on loan at Crystal Palace, where he caught the eye with his box-to-box style of play and eye for goal.
His eight league goals earned him a return to Stamford Bridge amid worries that being in such a talented squad could see him lose game time and miss out on a ticket to Qatar.
However, despite starting the season on the bench, his eight starts have been enough for Southgate to give him a vote of confidence.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect it,” admitted Gallagher about his call-up in an interview with The Independent newspaper.
“I was on the physio bench getting ready for training. It was 11 o’clock, and we were training at 12. I was just so honoured to get that message and the manager to show his belief in me, and I can’t thank him enough,” he added.
Gallagher played for the England Under-21 in September, but rather than show disappointment at an apparent demotion, he produced good displays against Italy and Germany to impress Southgate with his attitude, reports Xinhua.
“If I didn’t go and do my job properly and play with the Under-21, then I probably would not be here now.”
“It’s about doing things right and always training as hard as I can and playing as well as I can when possible. Back then, playing in those two games for the Under-21 was a big factor,” explained Gallagher, who accepts he probably won’t start for England against Iran on Monday, with players such as Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Jordan Henderson also in the squad.
“It’s just about keeping believing in myself like I’ve done for the whole of my career so far and keep playing as well as I can. Whether that’s to score goals or try to win the ball back, then that’s what I can do,” promised the midfielder.