Keane still confident of World Cup spot with England

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The Everton defender has been in better form of late and aims to get back into Gareth Southgate's plans ahead of the trip to Russia

Michael Keane feels he still has a good chance of going to the 2018 World Cup in Russia with England.

The Everton defender, who has won four caps, was left out of the squad for the friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy last month as Gareth Southgate looked at James Tarkowski.

Keane has suffered a mixed first season at Everton following his £25 million move from Burnley last summer, but his form has improved in recent weeks and he hopes to force his way back into the England squad for the World Cup.

“While I was really disappointed not to be in the last England squad, it just gives you the motivation to work harder and want to get into the next one,” said Keane.

“I feel like I’m still in the manager’s thoughts for the World Cup. I’ve been in a lot of squads in the past year or two.

“I know if I play to my ability for the rest of the season, I will have a good chance. It’s up to me to do that.”

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Meanwhile, the centre-back has praised Sam Allardyce since he arrived at Goodison Park in November, saying the former England boss gives Everton an understanding that they previously did not have.

Keane added: “I’ve been a lot more settled since the manager came in and I know what my role is in the team.

“You want to be clear-minded and understand your role and responsibilities going into a game. That’s how it is with the manager here.”

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