Wigan Athletic loan star aims for international glory

Reece James
Reece James

Latics loan star Reece James is hoping to use his experience to get England out of a pickle as they head into tonight’s do-or-die Maurice Revello Tournament clash against Portugal.

The Young Lions got their campaign off to a losing start at the weekend with a 2-1 defeat to Japan.

James, who was an unused substitute for game one, is in contention to start the all-important second group game.

And after being a big part of the side which won the 2017 title, James could be a vital senior figure in a mixed squad of Under-19/Under-20 players.

“I’ve been here before and hopefully I can help a few of the lads out that haven’t, in where we found it tough last time,” James said.

“But it’s good to be back again and we’re here to win it. We’re not just here to take part.

“Every opponent here is going to be good, that’s why they’re here, but we just have to take it game by game.”

The 19-year-old was named in the team of the tournament two years ago.

And after sweeping the board at the Latics player of the year awards this term, the Chelsea defender is looking to take his club form on to the international stage.

“When I got there (to Wigan), I thought I’d play maybe 15 or 20 games which would be a good start building into next season,” he told the FA.com.

“But as soon as I got there and went in the team, I never came out.

“As time goes on and you play more games, you pick up different things and gradually get better over time.

“If you maintain your work rate, there’s no reason why you’re not going to get better.

“It comes down to working hard and knowing what I needed to do.”

England’s final group game is against Chile on Friday (7.30pm kick-off).