Barnsley product John Stones seeking to get in the picture on international front

FA Cup winner: Manchester City's John Stones, fourth left, wants success on international stage.FA Cup winner: Manchester City's John Stones, fourth left, wants success on international stage.
FA Cup winner: Manchester City's John Stones, fourth left, wants success on international stage.
England’s John Stones is ready for a picture perfect moment as he targets victory in the Nations League.

The defender believes England are on the brink of a special breakthrough ahead of Thursday’s Nations League semi-final with Holland in Portugal.

After being teased by Manchester City team-mate David Silva with photos of the trophies he has won with Spain, Barnsley product Stones wants his own snaps to show the midfielder.

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“David is always making fun of me and he’ll send me a picture of the three things he’s won (with Spain), the World Cup and two European Championships (saying) ‘This might be you one day,’” said Stones.

“But that’s something that he’s so proud of, and I don’t want to say that I can’t imagine it. I couldn’t imagine it happening years ago but now we’re so close to something special.

“I can’t imagine what the scenes will be like if we do it, and touch wood, we do it, because it would be something special for all of us.”

The defender could start for the Three Lions after losing his place in the City side this year.

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Stones started just eight Premier League games in 2019 and just three of Ctiy’s final 10 matches as they took the title ahead of Liverpool by a point.

The 25-year-old was also only a late substitute in the 6-0 FA Cup final victory over Watford last month but he insists he understands the need to put the team first at the Etihad.

He said: “I felt in previous seasons, especially when I was younger from 19 to 21 maybe, I would have focused too much on ‘What am I doing? Why aren’t I?’ and not thinking about the greater good of the team.

“That’s what everyone did this season and I think that’s why we pulled through in every competition except the Champions League.

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“I’m massively proud of what I did. Because if you think back now, you remember the end of the season.

“For football fans in general, they remember us winning things, the big games. They don’t remember the first half of the season, maybe to the start of January, the new year.

“That’s where I believe every bit of hard work, every game we’ve won is setting you up for that second half of the season. I was a massive part of that. That’s why it’s such a team game.”

Victory in Portugal would cap another medal-laden season for Stones following the domestic treble with City.

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England are 12 months on from last summer’s World Cup semi-final exit where the national team restored the bond with their fansand Stones added: “It is exciting, because last summer seems so far away now. We did everything we could so that when we went out there we knew we were ready for any scenario.

“We need to deliver again now and that’s the expectation that we have put on ourselves. There is huge potential with the younger guys.”