Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock admitted yesterday that a door had been opened for him ahead of a Carling Cup final appearance that could see him established as England's first-choice left back.
Warnock is a regular in the Premier League's meanest defence this season. Now he is contending to be Ashley Cole's deputy at the World Cup - or even in the side on merit.
Warnock, preparing for Villa's Wembley clash with Manchester United and in Fabio Capello's provisional squad for Wednesday's friendly against Egypt, said: 'It would be lovely to win on Sunday and have a call-up.
'I was pushing for selection anyway and felt that I could push Wayne Bridge.'
Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov is in no doubt Warnock can excel on the international stage. 'He's a real warrior, said the Bulgaria midfielder. 'He contests everything. For the size of him, he's brave in the air. Those would be qualities to endear him to the England manager.
'Any time that an opponent gets past him, Stevie is right back in his face. This is something that people in England love to see.'
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