(Reuters) - Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is optimistic he will be fully fit for England’s Euro 2016 campaign next month, despite a lack of playing time for his north London side in the past season.
Wilshere made just one start for the Gunners, who finished second in the Premier League, as injury problems disrupted his campaign, but was last week named by Roy Hodgson in the 26-man provisional squad for the European Championship in France.
“I know what it takes to get back and I always had time on my side so I was confident,” Wilshere, who returned from an 11-month spell on the sidelines in April, told British media.
“I remember my first training session back, which was eight weeks ago, and ever since then, I’ve just been trying to work, get better and get fitter each day.
“The most important thing for me now is to get games and to get that match sharpness. I know what it’s like coming back from injury and with every game I’ll feel better.”
Having made his Arsenal debut aged 16, Wilshere has only once played more than 25 Premier League games in a season, however, he took a major step towards full fitness by emerging unscathed from England’s friendly win over Turkey on Saturday.
The 24-year-old’s combative style of play means he is a likely target for heavy tackles but Wilshere insists he will not live in fear of over-zealous opponents.
“That’s part and parcel of international football. You’re up against players who grew up in a different culture to us and that’s part of their game — little niggly fouls,” Wilshere said.
“But I’ve had a number of them in training this week and before with Arsenal, so I’m not afraid of that.”
England face Russia, Slovakia and Wales in Group B of the Euro 2016 in France that starts on June 10.
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien