England spurs on Martyn Waghorn to fight for his Leicester City place
Leicester City striker Martyn Waghorn has vowed to use his England Under-21 experience as a platform to fight his way back into first-team contention at the King Power Stadium.
Waghorn is yet to make a first-team appearance for City in the Championship this season, but was named in Stuart Pearce's starting line-up for England's 1-0 victory against Norway on Monday.
He played 77 minutes in their final European Under-21s Championship group game at Chesterfield before making way for substitute Wilfried Zaha.
The 22-year-old Waghorn said it felt really good to be back in an England shirt.
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"I'm always honoured to play for my country, it's a great occasion and to get a start is fantastic.
"Hopefully, I can take this back to the club and push on for Leicester City. I still think I need a few more games before I'm back at my best.
"I missed about eight months last year (through a hamstring injury), so it has taken a bit of time to get back into it.
"But every game is a bonus. I'm just focused on working my way back into it, getting back on the training pitch and going from there."
Waghorn had an impressive first half for England, playing just behind striker Connor Wickham, and was involved in many of the key moments.
A thunderous left-foot strike from the edge of the area early in the game forced a sprawling one-handed save from the Norwegian goalkeeper.
Waghorn was also involved in playing the ball through to Wickham for the Sunderland striker to bag the only goal of the game.
But he admitted that it would be better for his international chances if he was playing regular football.
"I think it would help because I need to get some game-time so I can come back here and stake a claim to secure a regular first team spot for the under-21s," said Waghorn.
"It's a massive confidence boost playing for your country. Hopefully, I can take the experience from the last seven or eight days and take that back to the training pitch, work hard and try to fight for my place at Leicester."
City currently have an abundance of strikers at their disposal, with Jamie Vardy, David Nugent, Marko Futacs, Jermaine Beckford and Jeff Schlupp all fighting for first-team action, while Tom Hopper and Harry Panayiotou are continuing to impress for the development squad.
"There's a lot of competition for places at the moment, but I'm just concentrating on getting fit and scoring goals, so we'll see how it goes," said Waghorn.
"I'm confident I can help us fight our way into the top six."