Phil Jagielka admits he has 'mixed emotions' over John Terry's retirement from international football as he strives to cement his own spot in the England team.
Jagielka, as an England fan, was disappointed the Chelsea skipper decided to stop making himself available for his country last month. But as an ambitious defender who wants to play regularly for England, he knows it is one less obstacle to overcome.
"When John finished, I was gutted as an England fan. He has been a fantastic player for England, he's put his body on the line for many years now but he had his reasons," Jagielka said.
"But if you look at it from a purely personal point of view, it was one less person to compete with playing for England. It was also an opportunity for me to try and go higher up the pecking order."
With Terry's long-time England colleague Rio Ferdinand also currently not being selected by manager Roy Hodgson, the chance is there for Jagielka, Joleon Lescott and Gary Cahill to stake their claims.
"I wouldn't say I was resigned to never playing regularly because of John and Rio," Jagielka added.
"But that's the role you get put into when there are people in front of you who aren't particularly giving you the opportunity to get a game."
Hodgson also has to decide who will be his left-back in Warsaw with Jagielka's club-mate Leighton Baines in strong contention with the 98-times capped Ashley Cole.
Baines has started all four internationals since Euro 2012 with Cole's ongoing ankle problem meaning he was rested for Friday's 5-0 win over San Marino.
"I don't see there's any difference really. Ashley has performed at that level for a long time now and put himself up there as one of the world's top left-backs," Jagielka said. "But if you watch Bainesy enough, and he won't thank me for saying it, he's been by far our best player all season."