The Big Interview

Twenty-three old right-back Carl Jenkinson has been in fine form for West Ham United this season making 28 appearances in a claret and blue shirt. 

The Arsenal loanee's performances have been recognised with a call up to England U21 squad for their matches with the Czech Republic and Germany.

Before he met up with Gareth Southgate's squad, spoke to the in-form defender about staying patient against Sunderland, facing rivals Germany and preparing for Leicester City after the international break... 

Carl, congratulations on the win, we had to grind it out, but the three points was all that mattered really wasn’t it?

"Yeah, Saturday was all about the win. It was nice to get a clean sheet as well. It’s always tough to play a team when a new manager comes in and that was the case today. We knew it was going to be a tough game and we had to wait to the very end. We kept our discipline which we’re really happy about."

A lot of teams have scored late goals recently and Saturday it was our turn, something we haven’t really done this season?

"Definitely, lately things haven’t been going our way, we’ve conceded some late goals so to get one ourselves is fantastic. It was no stroke of luck, we kept pressing for the goal and it was a great finish from Diafra. All in all, it was a very pleasing day."

We’ve been playing in most of our recent games, yet the results weren’t coming, how important was actually winning the game?

"Saturday was all about the result, the performance was almost irrelevant. It’s been frustrating, playing well but not getting the results.

"Everyone in the camp knew we needed a result, it didn’t matter how we got it. I think the fans could feel that as well, everyone involved in West Ham. We just needed to get a win under our belt and hopefully that’s the start of a run."

You’re now off with the England U21s to play Czech Republic and Germany, are you looking forward to playing for England again?

"Yeah I am. It’s always an honour playing for England, at any level. I’m really looking forward to it, it keeps me ticking over during the international break. It’s nice to play a couple games and keep my fitness up. I’ll be raring to go against Leicester."

Two difficult games, both these teams were finalists last time round?

"Yeah of course. In the qualification rounds we played against some easier teams as such but now we’re playing against the big boys. It will be a good test for us to see what we’re all about."

England v Germany games will always be special, whatever level...

"Exactly, that’s the one that stands out, it should be a great game. It’s one I’m certainly looking forward to."

Given that it is two weeks between games, how important is it that we go into this break with a victory?

"You always want to go into an international break with a win. If you don’t, you have a long time to dwell on it. For the boys who aren’t going away, they’ll be training but they can also recuperate a little bit."

We’ve got eight games left, hopefully we can really push back up the table?

"Yeah, we’ve got eight games to go, and certainly some winnable games among them. We want to finish as high up the table as we possibly can.

"We’ve had a strong season so far, we had a great start and as a team we don’t want to let that go to waste, it would be a real shame if we do. I’ve got a lot of confidence in the boys that we’re going to finish strongly."