Bridge on path to Germany
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sven Goran Eriksson says Wayne Bridge will be at the World Cup if he is fit.England boss Sven Goran Eriksson has reassured Wayne Bridge that his place in the World Cup squad is safe if he can prove his fitness.
The Three Lions play Poland on Wednesday night after already cementing their involvement in the finals in Germany next summer, although Bridge has been a frustrated onlooker ever since suffering a fractured ankle against Newcastle in February.
Eriksson is a keen fan of Bridge and utilised the former Southampton star as cover for Ashley Cole, but in the eight months since his injury Liverpool's Stephen Warnock has emerged as a contender.
Manchester United man Kieran Richardson could also fill in, whilst Jamie Carragher got the nod in Cole's absence against Austria and is expected to take the field against Poland.
Despite a number of options open to Eriksson, the Swede has now stated that Bridge's natural aptitude for the position means that if fit he is almost certain to make the trip to Germany in June.
His path to the finals is not a clear one however, as he has only featured for the Chelsea reserves so far this season and Jose Mourinho spent heavily on Athletic Bilbao left back Asier Del Horno over the summer.
"He is still an important part of this England squad," said Eriksson.
"I hope very much that Wayne gets back to where he was before he was injured and if he is fit he should be in the squad.
"We don't have another natural left back in the squad.
"There is Kieran Richardson but if the World Cup was tomorrow I wouldn't play him there.
"Left midfield maybe, but not full back."