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The Southampton captain played his first two games for the Three Lions against Chile and Germany, prompting his national manager to offer him praise for his undaunted performances.

England manager Roy Hodgson says that Southampton captain Adam Lallana has played himself into World Cup contention, proving himself a "major find".

The 25-year-old made his debut against Chile on Friday before starting Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to Germany and, despite the Three Lions losing both games, his national boss was impressed with the attacking midfielder's displays.

Asked by reporters if Lallana had put himself into the frame for Brazil, Hodgson replied: "Yes he has, there is no doubt about that. He was very good. I was very happy with his two performances.

"He has shown he is comfortable on this stage and has a lot of skill. He's been a major find."

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart put in a strong performance against Germany, marking his return to first-team action after being dropped by his club, and the 66-year-old believes that his faith in his No.1 was rewarded.

"Joe Hart proved I was right about him," Hodgson enthused. "He played very well.

"If I am optimistic we do have the quality [to do better], it is there. We have players to come back, too, but we were just lacking the quality in those key areas. [Steven] Gerrard wasn't at his best after recovering so recently, Jack [Wilshere] is still finding his best form. Steven missed all of last week's training and was stiffening up a bit. Ashley Cole felt his rib at halftime and couldn't continue."

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