Wigan duo back Baines
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Chris Kirkland and Matt Jackson have backed Leighton Baines' England claims.
Wigan duo Chris Kirkland and Matt Jackson have both come out to express their surprise that Wigan team-mate Leighton Baines has not won an England call-up.
The promising left back has established himself as a key player in Peter Taylor's Under-21 set-up and there had been calls for his inclusion in Steve McClaren's senior ranks.
Those that champion his cause believed Wednesday's clash with Holland would have proven to be an ideal opportunity to introduce him to international football but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland admits he was "surprised and disappointed" that his team-mate was not rewarded for some outstanding Premiership displays with a call-up.
"I was a little bit surprised when Bainesy was not called up to the full squad because he's been absolutely superb," Kirkland told the Manchester Evening News.
"Everyone at the club knows what he can do and what he's capable of.
"He's a quality left back and a very good defender. He rarely wastes a pass and he hardly ever gives the ball away.
"He can also hit a ball superbly, and I'm sure if he continues to do what he has been doing his chance will come sooner rather than later."
Wigan club captain Matt Jackson echoed the words of his team-mate: "I was gutted for Bainesy when he didn't make it. He would certainly have been in my squad."