Jermaine Jenas targeting return to England set-up

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The Independent Football

Jermaine Jenas has set his sights on forcing his way into England's squad for the Euro 2012 finals as he looks to rebuild his career on loan to Aston Villa from Tottenham.

The midfielder scored the first goal of the Fabio Capello era - against Switzerland at Wembley - but won the last of his 21 caps nearly two years ago against Brazil in Doha.

Jenas accepts his lack of first-team chances at Spurs means Capello has not had the option of picking him in recent times, but hopes to put a frustrating spell behind him at Villa.

He has been included in the squad for tomorrow's Barclays Premier League clash with Everton at Goodison Park.

Jenas said: "First and foremost I've got a list of objectives I would love to achieve this year.

"I've got to get into this Villa team and get a run of games under my belt.

"If I can do that, and get some form going, I've always been confident that I'm good enough to play for England.

"It's just always been a problem the last couple of years that I haven't been able to get the run of games at Tottenham.

"To be fair to Fabio, he hasn't even had the chance to select me but, if I get that run, then come the end of the season my name will be in the hat for the European Championships."

Jenas will relish the chance to play regular football after struggling to make an impact at Tottenham.

He said: "We had a huge squad, I picked up the odd knock here and there which didn't help, and it is tough.

"I went on a really good run at the start of last year, started all the Champions League games, and then picked up a little niggle and next thing, someone comes in.

"All it takes is for them to have a good couple of games and you are sat there again. It was just in and out, in and out from there.

"It has been very frustrating for me but I'm hoping to put that behind me this year, get my head down, work hard, and hopefully the England calls will start coming at some time."

The former Nottingham Forest and Newcastle man added: "I wouldn't say it is a case of having a point to prove but I would like to get out there and show what I can do.

"A lot of clubs and managers and players know what I can do but no-one has had the opportunity to see it for a few years.

"That has been my biggest downfall when it comes to getting selected in England squads.

"People ask me 'have we seen the real Jermaine Jenas?' I think in spells, definitely, but that is the hardest part of it. You need to be more consistent, and playing a lot more games.

"That has been the frustrating thing for me that I haven't been able to show that as much as I want to.

"I know how good I am and hopefully I will get the chance to show it."

Villa striker Darren Bent is on course to face Everton after returning to training following the groin injury which forced him out of England's Euro 2012 qualifiers with Bulgaria and Wales.

Defender Richard Dunne had four stitches in a facial wound suffered when on duty for the Republic of Ireland in Russia but is available.

Villa manager Alex McLeish has also included his other dead-line day signing from Tottenham - full-back Alan Hutton - in the squad.

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