Stones tired of watching England on TV after 14 months in the wilderness for Manchester City defender

John Stones Gareth Southgate England Croatia 11072018
The 26-year-old centre-half has earned 39 caps for his country, but has not figured for the Three Lions since 2019 amid struggles for domestic form

John Stones says he is tired of watching England on television, with the Manchester City defender admitting an international recall would “mean everything” to him after 14 months in the wilderness.

The 26-year-old centre-half has earned 39 caps for his country, but the last of those was in November 2019.

Gareth Southgate’s side will be back in action on March 25 when they open their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign at home to San Marino, with contests against Albania and Poland to follow.

Stones will, injury permitting, be hoping to come into contention for a place in the Three Lions squad. His form at club level has kept him on the outside looking in for over a year, but a return to favour at City has allowed confidence to be restored in a player who was once considered to be the future of English football.

Two goals were recorded by Stones on his most recent outing – a 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace – and he is desperate to step back into Southgate’s thoughts.

He told reporters of his England ambition after putting in another eye-catching performance: “It's hard when you're not playing for your club and especially your country.

“Watching them on TV is something no player wants to do. All I can do is get a run of games and impress Gareth. If it happens, it happens. It would mean everything.”

England are looking to find a settled partner for Harry Maguire within their system, with Stones having figured prominently alongside the Manchester United captain at the 2018 World Cup.

A reunion may be on the cards, with the City star having struck up a productive understanding with Ruben Dias at Etihad Stadium.

He added on working with the highly-rated Portugal international: “Ruben Dias has been great, he deserves a lot of credit since he's come in and he's adapted well to the Premier League.

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“It's been great for me to play alongside him, he's so easy to get on with on and off the pitch. It's just clicked. When it happens like that you enjoy your football and I'm definitely enjoying it with him.”

Stones said on his own revival: “I wouldn't say it's confidence, it's looking at what I can affect and improve on.

“It's down to me to look at myself. I went away and worked hard every day on the training pitch, in the gym, making sure I'm ready to be called on. Looking at every detail, recovery or whatever it is, I dedicated everything to get back into the team and to show I'm fighting for the shirt, my team-mates and the club.”