Newcastle United summer signing delivers honest verdict on international call-up chances

With several Newcastle United players away on international duty, Matt Targett is left reflecting on what he needs to do in order to get an England call-up.

The 27-year-old has been capped at Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 level for England but has so far failed to break into the first team.

For the first time since 2007, Newcastle have two players in the England squad in Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope. Targett has also been tipped for a call-up along with fellow January arrival Dan Burn, but neither have been given the nod by Gareth Southgate so far.

While the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is likely to come too soon for Target to break into the England squad, the left-back is not giving up on representing his country on the international stage.

Matt Target of England during the U21 International match between Norway and England at Marienlyst Stadium on September 7, 2015 in Drammen, Norway. (Photo by Trond Tandberg/Getty Images)

“For sure! I’m not closing the door on that, no way,” he said. “It’s something I’ll forever keep working towards. I’ll always have my eye on that.

“Probably for me, I have to perform out of my skin on matchdays to even stand a chance. The better performances I put in on matchdays will probably give me a better chance.”

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Targett has also drawn inspiration from team-mate Kieran Trippier, who made his England debut at 26 and has gone on to become a crucial part of the Three Lions squad in the past two major tournaments.

"You see them as individuals, as professionals – they do everything right, on and off the pitch,” Targett added in the Newcastle matchday programme. “You see someone like Trippier, the level he brings every day in training.

"He’s on it, he’s trying to lead the group, he’s making high standards for the people around him. For us, as team-mates, to see that and try and follow that is important.

"That can only make us better as a team, if we all have standards like that.”

Targett continued: “I feel like over time the mentality’s changed. I feel like there are more winners here now, that always want to do their best, so that helps the team.

"I think overall, as a club and as a team, we're in a much better place. We’ve got a manager who demands so much from us.

"Every day he wants to improve us. I think we’re in good stead.”