Dominic Calvert-Lewin did not feel any pressure to fire his way into England’s European Championship squad against San Marino but knows he could have scored a hat-trick in the World Cup qualification cakewalk.
March’s triple-header – and the road to next year’s finals in Qatar – kicked off with a 5-0 defeat of the world’s lowest-ranked side on Thursday evening.
Calvert-Lewin got the nod to lead the line, with skipper Harry Kane rested, and grabbed a brace against San Marino, although he will have been kicking himself for failing to score a hat-trick.
Yet the 24-year-old displayed no such frustration after the match, nor any sign of pressure of fighting for his place in this summer’s Euro 2020 squad.
“I didn’t really feel any pressure,” said Calvert-Lewin, with the Three Lions now preparing for qualifiers against Albania and Poland.
“The only pressure I really feel is that which I put on myself.
“I think I’m in a privileged position and I’ve worked very hard to be here, so I take confidence in that and I take confidence in the goals that I’ve scored already this season, so when I do step on the pitch I believe I’m going to score.
“I can’t really affect anything else other than when I’m on the pitch, so I try and concentrate on that.”
Asked if he had sent a message to Southgate with his performance, the Everton striker said: “I scored two goals. Maybe I could have had a couple more but that’s what I’m there to do. I’m in there to score goals so I’m doing my job.
“We knew that we had to kind of build momentum from this game.
“That obviously going into this we’re expected to win it and we’re expected to win it in a certain fashion and we’ve come away scoring five goals tonight.
“We can take confidence and momentum from that into the next two games.”
Calvert-Lewin was replaced after 63 minutes by Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins, who made his Three Lions debut just six years on from playing at Weston-super-Mare on loan from Exeter.
The 25-year-old enjoyed a night to remember at an empty Wembley, wrapping up victory with a fine low strike towards the end.
“He’s been really sharp and he’s a nice lad,” Calvert-Lewin, who made his debut in October, said of Watkins.
“It’s the first time I’ve come across him and I know what it feels like not too long ago to step into the squad.
“The feeling he’ll have now, scoring on his debut, is something he’ll always have dreamed of.
“He came in a bit late and we all gave him a clap. He had a big smile on his face. I’m very, very happy for him.”