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Emile Heskey backed to be in England squad for South Africa

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08 May 2010 14:16:56

Emile Heskey backed to be in England squad for South Africa

Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey has been backed to secure a placein Fabio Capello's England squad for the World Cup finals - even thoughhe has struggled to get into the side at Villa Park.   Heskey is again set to start on the bench in Sunday's final Barclays Premier League game of the season against Blackburn. Support: Emile Heskey (right) has been 'unlucky' for Villa this season, says his boss  Your country needs you! Fabio's World Cup call to Jamie CarragherBarry's World Cup nightmare as injured City star faces four weeks outSpurs can win World Cup - Harry tips his stars for success in South AfricaThe former Liverpool striker has lost his starting role to Norway forward John Carew who has scored 17 goals for Villa this season.   But Villa manager Martin O'Neill does not think his lack of action for Villa should stand against him when Capello finalises his plans for South Africa.   Heskey's recent lack of goals at international level has always been levelled against him.   But as far as O'Neill is concerned it is his overall impact in the side that has to be the key factor.  O'Neill said: 'My own view is that he played in the qualifying rounds and  I should imagine that will stand him in very good stead.   'I think overall the England manager will have a fair idea of his squad.  'Part of his thinking will be 'who has done so well for me in previous games?' and Emile Heskey has to come into that category.   'In truth he has been a wee bit unlucky with Villa this season. I thought he was splendid in the Carling Cup final but he came back and picked up a knock or two.' Heading to South Africa?: Emile Heskey has played well for England in the past O'Neill has a full squad to choose from for the clash with Blackburn and he is relishing the fact Villa still have something to play for as the jockeying for European places goes down to the wire.   He is set to retain the side that started against Manchester City last weekend as Villa go in search of a fourth win of the season against Blackburn.   They have beaten them in the FA Cup and in both legs of the Carling Cup semi-final - famously winning the second leg at Villa Park 6-4.   O'Neill added: 'Normally there is not very much to play for at this time of the season but we have a terrific incentive to do well.   'If we win we will definitely finish sixth and the difference between that and finishing seventh is the extra qualifying games in the Europa League.  'If you finish seventh it means that we will be playing at the end of July.  'But if we finish sixth there is only one set of qualifying games in August after the season has started.  'It is important to win as there are  number of our players who will be involved in the World Cup so there preparation time for any July games, if we were to finish seventh, would be much less if the season pans out as we want.   'If we can beat Blackburn and West Ham spring a surprise against Manchester City, then it is possible that we could even finish in fifth spot.  'So there is plenty to play for and everything in our hands.  'But Blackburn have shown some good form recently and I remember the epic semi-final tie we had with them in the Carling Cup. A repeat would be great for the fans but not for the heart!'  Your country needs you! Fabio's World Cup call to Jamie CarragherBarry's World Cup nightmare as injured City star faces four weeks outSpurs can win World Cup - Harry tips his stars for success in South Africa


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