Jack Wilshere confident of handling expectations following return to Arsenal action

 

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere says he will be able to deal with the nation's expectations when he once again dons the national shirt.

The Gunners midfielder made his first senior start since May 2011 in Saturday's 1-0 win over QPR after spending 14 months on the sidelines with knee and ankle injuries.

England face Sweden in a friendly on November 14 and Wilshere, who lasted 60 minutes at the weekend, acknowledges there will be talk of a call-up for the fixture.

"Football is like that, especially with England. You become a better player when you are injured, you become a world beater when you are injured," he said.

"When you come back, there is an expectation, but I can deal with it.

"That is part and parcel of football and there are older players here who can keep my feet on the ground and help me.

"Just for now, I am happy to be back. I am happy to be out there and healthy again. I was just running round smiling - that feeling was amazing."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who only revealed to the player he would be starting on the morning of the match, intends to reintegrate Wilshere slowly, most likely resting him for the midweek Capital One Cup tie at Reading ahead of the trip to Manchester United.

"I am still a long way from full fitness, everyone has to understand that. They do here at Arsenal," Wilshere said.

"It is a long journey is going to take time."

And Wenger believes the game against Sweden should not be part of Wilshere's plans.

"It is a friendly. Jack should skip that," said Wenger.

"What is important now is that he gets back to full fitness for this team. Once he is back he will play for England again, but if it is a friendly...."

Wenger added: "I will have a little word (with Hodgson) of course. Anyway, Roy will call me about him.

"I am an understanding manager. If it is a friendly, a full game would be too much at the moment.

"I will speak about it with Roy, but what is important now is that he gets back to his level."

However Wilshere is confident he can be even better than before.

"When you are nearly back a couple of times and then have another setback it is really hard to take," he said.

"In football, you learn to deal with injuries and this will help me.

"My family have helped me so much and it will strengthen me and all I can do now is look forward."

Wilshere had to deal with plenty of robust challenges from a hard-working QPR midfield of Samba Diakite and Esteban Granero, and the England international would not have it any other way.

"That's part of my game. If I ever lost that then I wouldn't be the player that I was before so it was important to come through that," he said.

"To be honest, when I first started training it did go through my head, but then from the first tackle I was fine.

"Even the boss said to me the other day that I have got to calm down a bit, so there is no problem there."

PA

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