Petrov backs Gabby for England

02 October 2011 02:05

Aston Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov believes striker Gabriel Agbonlahor can become a world-class player if he displays his current form on a consistent basis.

Agbonlahor defied a recurring back problem to score his fourth goal of the season and set up another for Darren Bent in Villa's 2-0 Barclays Premier League home win over Wigan. It is a far cry from the player who was often used in a wide role last season by then manager Gerard Houllier, and looked disillusioned.

Petrov said: "Against Wigan is the way Gabby plays - that is his strength. If he manages to use it every game, teams would be scared. Look at Wigan. Every time he picked up the ball they were going backwards because they were scared to go closer to him."

He added: "That is Gabby. We know what he can do. He does it every day in training and he has been doing it more consistently. That is what makes good players - being consistent every game. That will make you a world-class player.

"I don't think there should be any doubt about Fabio Capello picking Gabby for England. I wouldn't even think about it. He deserves to be there. He has great ambitions and we will probably see him back in the England jersey."

That is likely to be delayed given the extent of Agbonlahor's back problem and he is focused on trying to resolve the injury during the international break.

He said: "I've got a back problem which I'm going to get sorted during the international break.

"I'm going to see a specialist about it - but overall I feel okay and I feel good about things.

"The manager (Alex McLeish) knows what I am capable of and has given all the players the confidence to go out and do their best."

Source: PA