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Ward-Prowse: England can win the World Cup in 2022
3:19pm Friday 6th September 2013 in Sport
Saints midfielder James Ward-Prowse believes England can win the World Cup in 2022, with the current crop of young players able to "reach the stars".
In a lengthy and wide-ranging speech earlier this week, new Football Association chairman Greg Dyke set the bar very high for the standard by which England need to be measured.
Dyke wants the senior team to reach the final four of Euro 2020, before going on to win the World Cup in Qatar two years later.
It is quite a target, but one Ward-Prowse believes is achievable.
The 18-year-old last night made his England Under-21s debut in the 1-0 win over Moldova and believes his team-mates have the ability to help the senior team moving forwards.
"It is exciting," Ward-Prowse said of Dyke's comments. "It keeps us working hard on a daily basis to improve ourselves.
"Hopefully we can push on and I think it is a real possibility.
"You can see the quality that we have. All right, it was only a 1-0, but we have great quality and I think if we stick together as a team we can reach the stars."
The signs against Moldova were certainly promising.
The Young Lions could and should have won by a much larger margin and were technically proficient, if lacking a cutting edge, in Gareth Southgate's first match at the helm.
"It was great to work under the manager as he has a wide range of experience to offer us boys and I think he's getting the best out of us," Ward-Prowse said.
"Credit to them because they did some last-ditch defending.
"We should have added a few more and we'll be working on our ruthlessness in training and hopefully get some more goals."
Next up is a trip to Finland on Monday, when Ward-Prowse will be hoping to win his second cap.
"It was a great experience," he said of his debut. "It was something I've been wanting to do for a while now and to get into the starting XI as well was a great bonus.
"It has been a really good experience. It has been different to the other experiences I've had with England.
"I've come away with some of the older lads, a few well-known players, and obviously a new manager as well, so it's been different but beneficial."
Ward-Prowse was one of two Saints teenagers handed their debut last night.
Having withdrawn from four previous squads, 18-year-old left-back Luke Shaw finally made first appearance for the Under-21s at the Madejski Stadium.
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