Britton hopes for Gerrard boost

  • Last Updated: November 24 2012, 13:57 GMT

Swansea's Leon Britton hopes a good performance against England's 100-cap hero Steven Gerrard may boost his own chances for his country.

Leon Britton: Hoping to stake international claim

Midfielder Britton, 30, will go up against Liverpool talisman Steven Gerrard when the Reds visit the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

Gerrard, 32, recently became the sixth player to record a century of appearances for England in the defeat to Sweden, and remains an integral figure in the Reds' squad.

Britton, meanwhile, has been typically assured and industrious in the Swansea midfield this season, picking up where he left off last term.

He has yet to lock horns with Gerrard in the Premier League, but the Reds skipper's 45-minute outing in the recent Capital One Cup tie between the sides was enough to make Britton aware of the quality of his opponent.

He said: "He has just won his 100th England cap and is one of the greatest English players to play the game.

"It is great to be on the same pitch with him, I played against him for the first time up at Anfield for 45 minutes and in that time you saw straight way that this is a real player.

"You know that watching on the telly, but coming up against him you see just what a player he is, it is great to play against these types of player, you have got to be on top of your game.

"It's hard to say if he is the best I have faced because I only played against him for 45 minutes, but in that time could see the quality and you have to watch because if you give him time and space he'll hurt you, so it will be good challenge."

Britton has been mentioned as a possible England call-up given his impressive form in a Swansea side continuing to produce attractive football under Michael Laudrup.

And with Everton's Leon Osman being handed his first cap at the age of 31 by Roy Hodgson, there would appear to be hope for the former West Ham academy product.

While Britton would be thrilled to represent his country, he will put thoughts of impressing Hodgson to the back of his mind.

"Has he got Sky? I don't know," said Britton. "I'm concentrating on playing well for Swansea and keeping my place in the team. Maybe I'll send him a DVD if I play all right.

"Playing in the Premier League against top players like Gerrard, and playing well shows you can do it at this level, I think the manager shown with Leon Osman being capped at 31 that he'll give someone an opportunity if they are 31 or 17.

"It would mean everything to play for England, it would be a dream come true.

"As a kid growing up you dream about it, you play out on the street and you're playing for England. If you ever achieved that dream it would be incredible.

"If you had one (cap) you'd want more, but if it had to be one you wouldn't find a happier man on the planet."

Alongside Gerrard in the Liverpool midfield will be Britton's former Swansea ally Joe Allen.

The 22-year-old has slotted seamlessly into life at Anfield since his £15million summer move, and Britton is looking forward to seeing his former team-mate, who he believes has always been destined for big things.

He said: "He was someone I saw come through the ranks as a 16-year-old, progressing and improving, and it is great to see him get a move to such a big club like Liverpool.

"It's going to be good to see him again, I played against him at Anfield and had a bit of banter on the text, but I am really looking forward to seeing him."

He added: "I think he was always going to draw interest from other clubs. It wasn't just because Brendan (Rodgers) knew him, Tottenham were also interested, so when you have that quality and ability you get noticed.

"He's not a goalscoring midfielder who will get you 10 or 15 goals a year, but it is hard to find a player like him who can dictate the tempo and have the ability on the ball."


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