'Buzzing'’ Jake Livermore says his England call-up has boosted his confidence and given his Baggies career a shot in the arm.
The 27-year-old was superb against Arsenal at the weekend, two days after his recall to the national squad was announced by Gareth Southgate.
And the central midfielder, who says playing for England would be ‘special’ after the past two years he’s had, reckons Albion will benefit from his time away.
“It certainly gives you a nice buzz,” he said. “It gives you that added confidence which, as any player will tell you, is something you can’t put your finger on. It definitely gives you a lift.
“My club football is my bread and butter and the club have put faith in me by bringing me here and I need to do all I can to repay that at every opportunity.
“To be honest my main focus was trying to cement a place in this (Albion) team and do well for my club.
“Anything on top of that was a bonus, and it certainly has been. So yes, it was nice to have a decent result off the back of the call-up.”
Livermore joined up with the England squad yesterday but he hopes this boost is not just a one-time thing. Although the January signing is surprised it has come so early in his Albion career, he’s eager to get a chance against either Germany or Lithuania this week so he can do enough to keep his place in Southgate’s thoughts.
“Hopefully I can get into the next squad,” he said. “That’s the idea.”
In 2015, the midfielder tested positive for cocaine but he escaped the usual two-year FA ban because of mitigating circumstances. Livermore had turned to the drug after his son died during birth.
“Any game when you represent your country and put the shirt on would be absolutely fantastic,” he said. “If you look at where I’ve come from in the last 18 months or two years it would be a special moment.
“Whether it’s in a friendly or a qualifier, just to try and get a good performance in any way, shape or form.”
Livermore isn’t the only unusual name in the squad. Sunderland’s 34-year-old striker has also been included, to the delight of Albion’s midfielder who played alongside him at Tottenham Hotspur. He hopes both of them can justify Southgate’s decision.
“It’s great to see Jermain back in there,” said Livermore. “It looks like he has freshened up the squad with some different players and hopefully we can go and prove him right. I was there with him for a long time, and Kyle Walker as well."
Tony Pulis was the man who delivered the news to him at Albion’s training ground last week, but the Baggies boss also gave his £10million signing a word of warning.
“The manager called me into the office and said ‘congratulations, you’ve been selected to go away with England. And be careful!’”Subscribe to our Newsletter