Bertrand hopes England meet expectations0
Ryan Bertrand is well aware of the pressure England will come under from fans at Euro 2016, because he remembers being on the other side of the equation.
The Southampton left-back was named in Roy Hodgson’s 26-man preparation squad on Monday and will challenge Danny Rose for a starting spot in France.
And the 26-year-old knows from his own experiences of cheering the team on from home that the nation demands a lot.
“I think we know what’s expected of us and we hope we can live up to that expectation,” said Bertrand after the team’s first official pretournament training session at St George’s Park.
“But we’ve all been that fan once upon a time, applying that pressure to the team.
“I remember way back to Euro ’96 just running after any clip or highlight from my house to my friend’s house saying ‘Did you see that?’ then running back again. There were some fond memories.
“We know we’ve always got that expectation from our fans but that comes from having a proud country and we just hope we can justify that.
“The dream of everyone is to win it. Within the camp we haven’t really sat down and thought about that, we’re just taking it game by game and making sure we put in good performances.”
Hodgson was without Liverpool and Manchester United players, due to their participation in the Europa League and FA Cup finals, and was down to 17 men with Gary Cahill sitting out.
The Chelsea defender, one of just three specialist centre-halves in the squad, was recovering from a knock but no further information on his condition was forthcoming.
Having gambled by leaving Phil Jagielka out of his long-list, Hodgson will be hoping Cahill, Chris Smalling and John Stones all stay at peak fitness once the action gets under way.
England will take a less experienced squad to France than in recent competitions, but also one less weathered by past disappointments.
In the likes of Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Dele Alli they have players who have light international CVs but stellar seasons to look back on at the business end of the Premier League.
And Bertrand sees the Three Lions as a side other teams will not be eager to face.
“We’ll definitely be one they have an eye on and rightfully so,” he said. “We’ve had some fantastic performers in the league all year round and hopefully we can continue that and things will look up for us.
“We’ve got players who’ve been right at the top this year and been there consistently so we’re blessed in that sense. Hopefully we can cause some trouble.
“We’ve got a good atmosphere in the camp and we play for each other.
“We are capable of winning it but that goes for a lot of other teams in the competition. It all comes down to who wants it more.”