Jamie Vardy has insisted all thoughts of Leicester’s remarkable bid for the Premier League title will be put to one side when he is on duty with England for their upcoming friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands.
The 29-year-old forward, whose goals have been central in 5,000/1 pre-season no-hopers Leicester’s surge to the top of the Premier League table, is aiming to be included in England manager Roy Hodgson’s squad for the European Championships in France, starting in June.
A first international goal, either away to world champions Germany in Berlin on Saturday or at home to the Netherlands on Tuesday, would certainly help Vardy’s cause.
Whatever happens now, this has already been an astonishing season for both Vardy and Leicester, with his 19 league goals, including a record-breaking run where he scored in 11 straight games, helping the Midlands club establish a five-point lead over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Only four years ago, Vardy was still playing non-league football but, with Wayne Rooney injured, is likely to be competing with Harry Kane for a place in his preferred central attacking position against Germany.
“It is not going to be harder to focus at all, that’s what we are here to do,” he said Wednesday.
“It is a period of two games with England and England is all the focus we can have. After next Tuesday has finished, it’ll be 100 percent back on Leicester again,” added Vardy, who won the first of his four England caps nine months ago.
“No matter where you are or what position in the league you are in, if you are picked by the gaffer (manager) to come and join the squad you are there for a reason, for what you have been doing on the pitch during the season.
“I have just got to keep doing that, keep knuckling down and keep working as hard as I can.
“We understand that people are going to ask about it (the league title) when we are with our club because we are doing well at the top and they will keep asking,”
“It is not a pressure or something we can get away from. It is just nice to have a week away to focus on England,” explained Vardy, who missed the two friendlies for Hodgson’s men, a defeat by Spain and a victory over France in November, because of injury.