Baines targets England call
Leighton Baines hopes the injury to Ashley Cole will boost his prospects of forcing his way into the England squad.
Last Updated: 21/02/10 12:24pm
Everton full-back Leighton Baines is hoping the injury to Ashley Cole will boost his prospects of forcing his way into the England squad.
Cole is struggling to play again for Chelsea during the domestic season after fracturing his ankle against Everton earlier this month and that has opened the international door for a replacement.
Manchester City's Wayne Bridge has been Cole's regular understudy for England, but the likes of Baines and Stephen Warnock are also pushing for inclusion for next month's friendly against Egypt.
Baines has yet to win a senior cap after representing the Under 21s and hopes playing under Stuart Pearce may help to boost his claims with Fabio Capello.
"We're all aware Ashley Cole's injury means there's a space in the next few squads for a left-back," said Baines.
"It's only right all of us will be thinking about the possibilities. If England comes along it would be fantastic, but I'm realistic enough to know there are other left-backs who are ahead of me.
"Wayne Bridge and Stephen Warnock are back from injury now so they'll be in contention.
"I played at Under 21 level for England and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
"Stuart Pearce was the manager at the time and he's now gone on to have a key role in the senior set-up.
"I hope he developed a good opinion of me when we were working with each other. I'd also like to think he'll put my name forward to the England manager as a possibility.
"To be managed by him was a privilege and, as a left-back, there's no-one better to get advice from to take your game to another level. He had an aura about him which earned him respect."