Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne: England comes first

Nathaniel Clyne is happy to put his summer holidays on hold while he is granted the opportunity to pull on the England shirt again.

There is often talk nowadays that young players don't fully understand what it means to play for their country and are more interested in what is happening at club level. For Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne, however, England comes first.

Clyne is in the England squad at St. George's Park this week preparing for a trip to Dublin on Sunday, followed by the European Qualifier in Slovenia seven days later. He made his debut for Roy Hodgson's team against the latter in November and has started all four games since.

The Southampton full-back has also been linked with a move away from St. Mary's Stadium with Liverpool interested, as per the Mirror, and whispers that Manchester United were too but have since dropped interest, as per ESPN.

After tasting what it's like to play in an international rivalry like Scotland v England, Clyne cannot wait to witness something similar against the Republic of Ireland.

"The beach can wait for now - this is a good opportunity for me to go away and get more international experience," Clyne, who also has England caps at Under-19 and Under-21 level, told the official FA website.

"It's always an honour to be called up to play for your country so I am happy and looking forward to the two games coming up.

"I relish the opportunity of these games and look forward to it. With the whole nation on your side willing you and wanting you to do well it is extra pressure.

"I know I can deal with it as well."

Elaborating on the atmosphere when England travelled to Scotland, Clyne says he was impressed by the passion.

"We played Scotland a few months back and it was a great atmosphere," he added.

"Hopefully it will be the same against Ireland and it will be a good test for us to go out there, get a good performance in and try to win.

"It really gets you going when the crowds are really up for it and it does make you want to play better.

"I'm sure it will be a very competitive match and it will be bragging rights for the fans also."

The former Crystal Palace defender will be hoping he can continue to cement his position in the England set-up and aim for helping his nation to glory at Euro 2016.

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