Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has urged Kieran Richardson not to turn his back on the chance of a surprise World Cup call-up.
Having played much of his football as an emergency left-back in recent times, Richardson has made no secret of his desire to line-up in his preferred central midfield role. However, Wayne Bridge's decision to declare himself unavailable to England boss Fabio Capello and Ashley Cole's ongoing battle for fitness mean there could be a golden opportunity up for grabs.
Bruce said: "The problem with Kieran is he doesn't particularly like it, he doesn't enjoy it. If I was picking a position for him, I would argue that that is probably his best position, but persuading Kieran of that I don't think is going to be easy."
He added: "He wants to be up at the other end of the pitch and he wants to try to create.
"But he is an excellent defender, he is very quick, he is naturally left-footed.
"I have played him there and he has arguably had his best games for me there.
"There could be a late call - there are not many, are there? There are not many natural left-hand-side players full-stop in the country, so who knows?
"It's his own mentality, Kieran, that he is not quite happy playing there."