EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

"After going to Leicester, I got used to playing week in and week out and first-team football is completely different to what I expected and what I’d done the season before."

 - Michael Keane

26/06/2013 14:07, Report by Adam Marshall
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Keane pleased with progress

After making your England Under-21 debut in March, you can't have been far from the European Championship squad...
I was in the last Under-21 squad before the finals and wasn’t really expecting it. I knew they would probably bring in some defenders from the Premier League who have been playing week in and week out there for the European Championship.

We felt the recognition was a little overdue after your fine form..
I wasn’t really expecting it so, when it came, I was just really happy. I managed to get on the pitch and it was a great experience and another step in the right direction for me. Hopefully, I can continue progressing and play for my country as well.

The tour takes in Australia this summer. Is the aim to take part in it?
I’d love to go there. It’ll be a great pre-season tour. I think if I can get on the tour and do really well, it would stand me in good stead for next season. I’m looking forward to it and hoping I can get on the trip.

Finally, how would you describe the season as a whole?
I think I’ve progressed a lot this season. The first half was about training with the first team and playing a couple of games, which gave me good experience. It was great to play with the calibre of players I was playing with and against. After going to Leicester, I got used to playing week in and week out and first-team football is completely different to what I expected and what I’d done the season before. Even so, if I can keep progressing and push on again next year, I’ll be pleased.

More: Henriquez eyes Reds duel | Rafael's season review

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