JAMES Ward-Prowse admits securing a spot in the England squad for this summer's European Championship will be "difficult", but insisted: "If I finish the season well, then there's no reason why I can't be going."

UEFA today announced that squad sizes will be expanded from 23 players to 26 for the delayed Euro 2020 event.

The statement read: "To mitigate the risks of teams facing a shortage of available players for certain matches due to possible positive COVID-19 tests results and subsequent quarantine measures ordered by competent authorities, it has been decided to exceptionally increase the player list for all participating teams to 26 players.

"However, 23 players shall remain the maximum number permitted on the match sheet for each individual match, including three goalkeepers."

Countries have until June 1 to submit their squad lists and Ward-Prowse, who scored his first England goal during the last international break, is eyeing up a spot among Gareth Southgate's group.

The Three Lions are set to face Croatia, Scotland and Czech Republic in Group D in June, with all those matches set to take place at Wembley Stadium, as are the semi-finals and final.

Discussing his chances of making the England squad, Ward-Prowse told the Daily Echo: "I think with the expansion of the squad there’s obviously more chances for everybody.

"But I’m more focused on finishing the season well. There’s so much competition in that squad. There’s younger players, there’s experienced players, there’s a real quality and depth within it so to get in it is going to be difficult, but if I finish the season well then there’s no reason why I can’t be going.

"Of course it’s in the back of your mind looking forward to the summer. But I won’t get there unless I play well for Southampton.

"There’s a huge amount of competition within that squad and I need to make sure that I give myself the best opportunity to be there in the summer and we’ve got a great chance to finish the season well."

Ward-Prowse, 26, now has six senior caps to his name.

Having debuted in 2017, the midfielder had to wait two years before his next England outing, but he now appears to have become a regular member of the set-up at just the right time with the Euros this summer before next year's World Cup in Qatar.

Ward-Prowse is battling the likes of Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Mason Mount, Harry Winks, Jordan Henderson and Jude Bellingham for a spot in the 26-man group.

Looking ahead to what could be a defining couple of years on the international stage, the Saints skipper said: "There is certainly a lot of football to play for. To be thinking about playing a home Euros for sure is in the back of every English player's mind.

"When you sit down and think about the squad and the players that are possible to be chosen from, it is an incredible squad.

"Everybody is going to be playing out their skin certainly in the next few games to ensure they can impress the manager and I will be one of them for sure. It is a good competition and a good thought to have."