Proud Lallana surprised by call-up
Southampton attacking midfielder Adam Lallana has labelled his first senior England call-up the proudest moment of his career.
The 24-year-old has represented the Three Lions at all youth levels but will now make the step up to the main side for the first time after playing a key role in Southampton's back-to-back promotions to reach the English Premier League.
The playmaker has taken on extra responsibility at club level, having been handed the captaincy by Nigel Adkins, while he has impressed against both Manchester City and United so far this term.
"I'm totally shocked, to be honest, and I didn't think the gaffer was being serious when he called to tell me this morning," Lallana told the Southampton website.
"It's such a proud accomplishment to be called up to play for your country at any level, but to be called into the senior side is probably the proudest moment of my career so far.
"To play for the Under-21s was a great achievement but this tops it because it is every player's dream to represent your country at the top level."
Lallana's call-up comes after his former Southampton team-mate Theo Walcott pulled out of the squad on Monday after suffering from illness, with Daniel Sturridge's fitness is also being monitored.
"I'm looking forward to the experience," he said.
"I've been called up quite late so I'm realistic in accepting I might not be that heavily involved, but the fact that I will be around such experienced international players is something I am really excited about.
"Even if I don't get the chance to feature, it's nice to know that you are in the thoughts of the national manager.
"I have great memories of my last appearance at Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final (where he scored in a 4-1 win over Carlisle in March 2010) so I hope tomorrow will give me even more."