Jack Wilshere happy to be playing central midfield for England

Fit-again Jack Wilshere is happier being England's middle man than a wide boy at Arsenal.

Wilshere returned to Roy Hodgson's XI in Sunday's 2-1 win over Turkey, having started just once for the Gunners at the end of a season ruined by a broken leg.

The 24-year-old was understandably short of his top form in the Euro 2016 warm-up, and came off after 66 minutes, but all indications are that he will be on the plane to France barring an unexpected breakdown.

Jack Wilshere played 66 minutes in England's friendly against Turkey

Jack Wilshere played 66 minutes in England's friendly against Turkey

And Hodgson's faith extends not only to Wilshere's fitness, but also his best position.

At Arsenal he is often required to play on the flank when available but Hodgson immediately restored him to his preferred slot in the centre.

"With Arsenal I've been playing out wide, which is not me," said Wilshere.

"I'm not a wide man, but Roy seems to have faith in me in the middle, so I'm happy with that. I like to play anywhere in the middle.

"I played the holding role before and I really enjoy that, and, this time I was a bit higher up the pitch and I enjoyed that as well.

"I've worked with Roy now and his staff for a number of years and they know what I bring and I know what they want from me as well."

Wilshere is bullish about his readiness for the tournament, despite his lack of game time and reputation for fragility.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger could have used him earlier than he did at the end of the campaign, but erred on the side of caution.

That has left Wilshere eager to be back on the pitch and he hopes to feature in both of England's remaining friendlies against Australia and Portugal.

"You always have those days when you are in the gym where you think you're not going to get back, but the thing that kept me going was I know what it takes to get back and I always had time on my side so I was confident," he said.

"I remember my first training session back, which was eight weeks ago, and ever since then I've just been trying to work, get better and get fitter each day.

"The most important thing for me now is to get games and to get that match sharpness.

"I know what it's like coming back from injury and with every game I'll feel better."

There was one worrying moment during the second half in Manchester when Wilshere appeared to be in some pain following a heavy challenge.

But he shrugged it off and insists he does not live in fear of being targeted.

"That's part and parcel of international football," he said.

"You're up against players who grew up in a different culture to us and that's part of their game - little niggly fouls.

"But I've had a number of them in training this week and before with Arsenal, so I'm not afraid of that."

Hodgson reflected contentedly on the player's contribution and appeared to already be considering Wilshere's potential impact in the tournament.

"The sharpness is coming," said the coach.

"He certainly didn't show any signs of having any particular physical problems. It was still the Jack Wilshere that I remember. What bothered me most about him was 'was he going to be limping around? Was he going to be able to do the running and the movements I associate with him?' Because he is, of course, a different type of midfield player to the others.

"I'm rather hoping he is going to be able to join us (in France). We hope that with every training session and every week that goes by he is going to get fitter.

"We also hope to stay in the tournament a little while so I don't think we should be too worried about him at this point of time in May. We should be thinking ahead to the middle or end of June and saying 'could this be a guy who helps us win a match?' He's definitely got that ability and I think he showed that in the first half when we had some of our better attacking movements."

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