Southampton's James Ward-Prowse ready to take England chance

James Ward-Prowse says he will use his time with the England squad to improve as a player but the midfielder also insists he is ready to take his chance if it comes this week.

The uncapped Southampton man has been named in Gareth Southgate's squad for the matches against Germany and Lithuania and he is determined to make his mark should he be selected.

"It's obviously an incredibly proud feeling for me," Ward-Prowse told a news conference. "It's always been a lifelong ambition and a career ambition to reach the senior squad. I think it's every young player's dream to play for England and to be given that opportunity and chance to represent your country and do everyone proud is a great honour.

"Should the chance come this week, I'll be ready to take it.''

The 22-year-old, who has represented England at various youth levels -- including captaining Southgate's under-21s side, is looking forward to learning from the other players during his time with the senior side.

He added: "It's a different environment in terms of the players that you're with, but I think it's a positive thing. I think for me, as a young player, it is different but I'm going to use it to benefit me as a player and increase my knowledge of the game.

"I can't wait to draw every ounce of knowledge from other players who have been in the group before this week, to help me as a player as well.''

Southampton teammate Nathan Redmond, who has represented England's U21s 34 times, has also been called up by Southgate and Ward-Prowse is pleased to see there is a pathway from the youth sides to the first team.

"Having worked with Gareth before, he's made it clear to us in the 21s that there is that pathway there,'' Ward-Prowse added.

"It's a positive thing. Not only for myself and Nathan but if you look throughout the squad as well, the likes of Raheem [Sterling], John Stones and Ross Barkley, they're players who have come through as well.

"It's positive that if you are doing well at a young age then you'll be given a chance.''

Ahead of his first match in the permanent role, Southgate made a presentation to his players outlining his vision for the future, with those around the squad invited to Monday's meeting subject to club commitments.

Wayne Rooney was chief among them but remained in Manchester to undergo treatment on an injury sustained in a collision with Phil Jones, missing a meeting that Ward-Prowse revealed underlined England's lofty ambitions.

"It was a very powerful message," Ward-Prowse said. "It is one that the under-21s have received before, sort of highlighted about the highs and lows of a career and the ambitions that he sees for us.

"And you know, we want to establish ourselves as a top team in the world. So it is all about plugging away at those goals and making sure that what we do now stands us in good stead for when we reach major tournaments."