Gary Cahill confident he has the backing of Chelsea team-mate John Terry
Gary Cahill was confident he had John Terry's backing after staking his claim to replace him in England's defence.
Last Updated: 13/10/12 4:11pm
Cahill was given the nod to start Friday night's World Cup qualifier against San Marino, the Three Lions' first match since Blues captain Terry sensationally quit international football over his Football Association racism case.
Cahill is seen by many as Terry's ultimate successor at Stamford Bridge.
And although the pair have not spoken specifically about the England situation since the latter accused the FA of making his position "untenable", Cahill had little doubt what his team-mate thought.
"I've not really had that one-to-one conversation about that particular situation," Cahill said.
"He's always encouraged me and I hope he wishes me well."
Friday night's 5-0 thrashing of one of the worst teams in international football would have told England boss Roy Hodgson little about Cahill's defensive capabilities.
"You don't really take too much out of that because you don't really get asked many questions in the game," Cahill said.
"It's always nice when that happens."
The 26-year-old added: "I've been pleased with my performance. It's just a matter of getting the ball and trying to bring it out from the back and give it to those players that can create chances."
The one area in which Cahill did compare unfavourably to Terry was in front of goal, the defender wasting two chances his team-mate would normally gobble up.
"I don't know how I haven't scored," Cahill admitted.
"The one that I missed at the back post, the one that got blocked.
"Frustrated in front of goal but it's not really what I'm there for.
"I'll let the other lads do that, which they did."
There were real concerns they would not during a frustrating first half-an-hour against a team that parked the bus.
"It was a strange game, wasn't it?" Cahill said.
"We saw the footage before the game and we knew, really, that it was going to be like that.
"So, it was just a matter of keeping concentrated and making sure we did a professional job, which we did in the end, which was obviously pleasing."
San Marino were always going to be cannon fodder, in stark contrast to Poland, who England face in Warsaw on Tuesday.
"Without being disrespectful, I think we knew we'd have a lot of the ball," Cahill said.
"It's going to be a lot tougher test, I'm sure, over there on Tuesday, so we need to be in the right frame of mind for that game."
That game will see captain Steven Gerrard return from suspension and reclaim the armband from Wayne Rooney, who scored twice on Friday night after missing England's opening two qualifiers through injury.
Cahill said: "I think he's (Rooney) a big presence, obviously, in the national team and it's great to have him back. He's contributed yet again.
"It's fantastic to see him having the armband and, more importantly, being back on the field."