Michael Owen is refusing to give up hope of winning a recall to the England squad.
Owen, 30, has been out of the international picture since March 2008 and missed out on selection for the World Cup finals in South Africa despite joining Manchester United from Newcastle in July 2009.
The striker has scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for the Three Lions but remains out in the cold under current head coach Fabio Capello.
Uncapped Bolton Wanderers frontman Kevin Davies was called up ahead of Owen for next week's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro in a further blow to the former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker's hopes.
However, Owen is refusing to accept that his days as an England international are now over.
"I haven't resigned myself to never playing for England again," he told the Daily Mirror.
"But I'm not stupid enough to get myself worked up before every squad's announced and then go 'oh no, the world's caved in and I'm not in it again'.
"Everyone deals with things in different ways. The first time I wasn't named in the squad I was really gutted. The second time I was pretty gutted, the next time I was just gutted and so on.
"People deal with knockbacks in life, whatever they may be, in different ways. You build up a protective mechanism so it won't hurt you.
"If someone punches you on the nose, it hurts, so the next time it happens you'll put your hands up or you expect it's coming, so you soften the blow.
"It's like that with England. It hurt to start with, it hurt a little bit less the second time and now it doesn't hurt as much. But that doesn't mean I've given up.
"I'd love to play for my country again, but I don't look out for the squad expecting my name to be in it, unless someone phones me to tell me otherwise."