Defender James Hill spoke to the press ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash against Crewe Alexandra at Highbury.
Hill, who is closing in on 50 appearances for the club, has recently spent time away with the England Under-20s setup after impressing on his first-ever camp last month.
Over the last fortnight, he’s gone on to make his full international debut against Italy, as well as score and captain the side in their win over Czech Republic before returning to the Fylde Coast earlier this week.
Here’s what James had to say in a recent interview with the club:
On Saturday’s opposition…
“We’ve got to approach the game at the weekend like we would any other game, we’ve got different tactics for every game, but mentally, I think we have to go into it thinking we can win it like every game in this league. I think every game is winnable so I hope we can start another run this weekend.
“It’s a very tight league so I do think we can kick on and, hopefully, that starts on Saturday. We have a young team who are producing when in training, it’s exciting because we’ve got Shayden Morris, Jay Matete, Barry Baggley, Chris Conn-Clarke, and Paddy Lane coming into the squad and have done it on matchdays.
“I think we should be higher in the table, but when you look at last season, we were in a similar position at Christmas but then we went on a good run. We had a good unbeaten streak, as well as a number of clean sheets, so we were able to push on from that.”
On his experience with England…
“It’s been an amazing journey so far. At the start of the season, I managed to get called up to the England Under-20s and I think I did well in the first camp. That led to me going to the second camp, where I started against Italy and came off the bench in the second game to captain the side to a 5-0 victory and get a goal at the end as well.
“I’ve only ever competed against them boys in the cup competitions against both Everton recently and Leicester when I was younger. The intensity was something that I thought I’d struggle with, but I did well and proved myself wrong.
“My dad has really helped me on my journey because he said that you always have something to strive for, it’s never the pinnacle, and it’s only the start that you are playing for England. You’ve got to keep doing what you are doing for your club and this needs to be put aside as you have to perform for your club.”
On his goal and captaincy against Czech Republic…
“It was a shocking feeling [to score] as I don’t score too often! I managed to score a week before going away against Cambridge, so I wanted to take that form into the camp with England, and, obviously, I found myself in the box last minute, so I nodded the ball in and take a goal for myself.”
“I thought I’d keep the celebration down low and keep it a bit professional, it was the last one from a 5-0 win, so I had to tame my excitement.
“I find that I do have the qualities of a captain, but I’ve always been taught by my dad that you don’t need to wear the armband to feel like you are a captain in the team, so I didn’t feel like I needed it because I’ve got to be a captain and a leader on the pitch no matter what.”