Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk says that working with Gareth Southgate can only benefit his game, during his time with the England national side this week.
The Albion central defender highlighted the positive influence working with the Three Lions boss would have, and revealed who he modelled himself on as a young footballer.
He said, “Gareth [Southgate] was a central defender like myself and he understands the position, so there’s a lot I can learn from him.
“He played at the top level for many years and if I can pick up little bits and pieces while I’m here and take those back to Brighton, then that will be great.
“One of my heroes was John Terry as a Chelsea fan – he was the reason I supported the team - I just saw the way he threw his body at everything to block the ball and keep it out of the net.
“It’s very ironic that my call up has come in the same week that he’s announced his retirement, as I have tried to the play the game in the same way."
The UEFA Nations League schedule sees England face this summer’s 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up in Rijeka behind closed doors tonight, before the Three Lions then make the trip to face Spain in Seville three days later.
Dunk looked ahead confidently to the contests, and discussed the playing philosophy at international level.
“They’re two very tough games which we’ll have to work hard to prepare for.
“I’ll be ready if called upon and it’s about me learning how the team play ahead of the games.
“We come from different sides for the national team and we’ll be playing different ways, but we’re all buying into the way the manager wants us to play.
“I feel confident on the ball and this side likes to pass it around – there’s been a lot of new faces and everyone’s been great within the group.”
The defender’s inclusion in Southgate’s squad is the first time an Albion player has been involved with the England national side for 36 years following Steve Foster’s selection for the 1982 World Cup, and the centre of excellence product spoke glowingly about his time away with the side so far.
“It was unbelievable to come here, and I’ve really enjoyed training. It was good to get out on the field today [Tuesday] and to get going with the group.”
“I’ve settled in really well and it’s a top group of players; if you need anything, all you have to do is ask.”