Leicester's Gray hopeful of senior England call-up
(Reuters) - Leicester City winger Demarai Gray hopes to deliver a consistent run of impressive performances in the Premier League to earn a call-up to the senior England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup finals, the 21-year-old has said.
Gray, an England under-21 international, was used mainly as a substitute under Craig Shakespeare and Claudio Ranieri but has started consecutive league games under new manager Claude Puel.
Gray was left out of Gareth Southgate's squad for upcoming friendlies against Germany and Brazil but is hopeful that he still has a chance of being on the plane to Russia next summer.
"I see he has selected some of the other under-21s, which is a big confidence boost for that squad," Gray, who signed a new four-year contract last week, told the Leicester Mercury.
"I think it is about playing regular games for your club and that is what I am doing right now ... Hopefully, after the international break, I can remain consistent and get a call-up. It is important to be as consistent as possible."
Puel has clearly been impressed by Gray and says he has similar attributes to Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard, whom he coached at Lille.
"It is nice to hear. You have all seen the player Hazard has become after working with our manager, so it is all a good confidence boost for me," Gray added.
"I can't really look beyond playing at the minute. I am enjoying my football and training, and I am happy. I just have to keep working hard."
Leicester, who dropped to 12th in the league after drawing 2-2 with Stoke City on Saturday, next host Manchester City on Nov. 18.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)