Manchester United duo Welbeck and Jones talk up England chances

The youngsters have enjoyed breakthrough seasons at club level this year and head into Euro 2012 with not only a shot of making the squad, but a chance of a prominent role
Manchester United duo Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck are eyeing key roles for England at Euro 2012 this summer.

Welbeck, who spent last season on loan at Sunderland, has made 37 appearances for the Red Devils this term whilst Jones has also impressed since a summer move from Blackburn.

With team-mate Wayne Rooney suspended for the opening two games of Euro 2012, the burden of leading the line for England could fall to Welbeck, a situation that the 21 year-old feels he is more than prepared for.

"I want to play at that level,” Welbeck told The Times.

“That is where I want to be. Going to the Euros and starting for England would be a massive boost for me

"I will just try and do my best for Manchester United between now and the end of the season and see what comes. But it’s not for me to pick England’s starting XI for the Euros."

Both players earned their senior debuts for the national side under the regime of previous England manager Fabio Capello.

And, despite the Italian's acrimonious departure over the John Terry captaincy saga, they are keen to state their gratitude at being granted the opportunity to represent their country.

“That’s football. People come and go. He [Capello] was great for me, he gave me my senior debut and I can’t thank him enough. But football moves on," said Jones.

Whilst Welbeck added: “Fabio showed a lot of faith in us both. We are grateful for that and it’s something we will never forget

"Playing for England is a massive honour and privilege. It’s something we dreamed of doing since we were little kids.

"For Fabio Capello to give us the call-up and our senior debuts, we can’t thank him enough. I don’t think you can let [Capello’s departure] affect you and think you are back to square one

"There is going to be a squad picked for the Euros and at the end of the day you just have to do your best to make sure you’re in it.

"If you don’t make it, it’s hard luck and you just have to keep improving, keep working in training every single day and use the club matches as a platform.”

Each of Jones' three England caps have come in a different position, but the former Blackburn man is eager to impress in a settled role next term, ideally at centre-back.

"I think my versatility gives options,” Jones added.

“I can play in a variety of positions and I don’t think I have a set position yet. That is something that, come the start of next season or in the near future, I am going to have to do.

"I need to hold down a regular place in a regular position. Ideally that would be centre back. I have always said that from Day 1. I have always seen myself as a centre back. Hopefully whoever takes charge sees that as well.”

Jones has been compared favourably to both Franco Baresi and Duncan Edwards in recent times, but is keen not to get carried away.

"It’s nice to hear comments like that, but you have to make sure it doesn’t affect you and go to your head," he continued.

"It’s the old cliché: you keep your feet on the ground and stick to doing what got you there in the first place."