Stephen Warnock has revealed his ambition to add to his one England cap to date, won under Fabio Capello 16 months ago. And the 27-year-old defender believes making the switch from Blackburn Rovers to Aston Villa during the summer transfer window can only bolster his chances of achieving that goal.
Capello watched Warnock in action during Villa's recent home draw with Manchester City, and he has quickly settled into the left-back role. He made his solitary senior international appearance to date during the friendly with Trinidad and Tobago in June 2008.
Ashley Cole is firmly established as the number one left-back, but Wayne Bridge was unconvincing when filling the role in last week's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifier with Belarus at Wembley. "Fabio Capello was at the game with Manchester City a couple of weeks back and I've heard that he is quite a regular visitor to Villa Park," said Warnock.
It was great to make my England debut. One of my ambitions is to play again for England, and I don't see why that can't happen.
"It was great to make my England debut. One of my ambitions is to play again for England, and I don't see why that can't happen. Coming to a club like this has offered me the chance to do it and it is still very much on my mind."
Competition for places
Warnock, however, has his feet firmly on the ground and knows he has to has to keep playing to his potential to hold on to his Villa place, with Wilfred Bouma close to fitness after his long-term ankle problem and Nicky Shorey looking for a recall.
"I have to play as well as I can and keep them out of the team. It may sound harsh but I am here to look after myself," said Warnock. "I know from my time at Liverpool what it is like when someone comes in and takes your position but that's the way it is. As much as I feel for the other lads, I intend to play as well as well as I can and keep my place."