Kirkland focused on survival
Chris Kirkland insists that his international ambitions must come second to helping Wigan stay up.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 17/04/08 9:57am
Chris Kirkland insists that his international ambitions must come second to helping Wigan stay in the Premier League.
The Latics keeper has been in fine form of late, prompting suggestions that he is now the leading candidate to make the England No.1 jersey his own.
He has made 33 appearances for Steve Bruce's side this season, his best return since making the breakthrough as a teenager with Coventry in 1999.
However, despite the compliments which continue to flood in, Kirkland is adamant that his focus remains solely on helping Wigan maintain their top- flight status this season.
"It is nice to be talked about but I'm happy at Wigan," he told The Guardian.
"I like the manager and the goalkeeping coach and it's a great set-up. I'm not even thinking about England.
"We need to stay in this league first and foremost. I don't want to think beyond that because I know from experience how quickly things can change. I've missed a lot of club football over the last few years and that is my bread and butter.
"What has happened over the last few years has given me perspective on a lot of things. It certainly makes you realise how things can change.
"I'm sure the manager (Fabio Capello) has his plans but I'm not even thinking of England. All that matters are the next four games for Wigan. If your mind starts wandering, that's when you can find yourself in a lot of trouble."
Kirkland's contract at the JJB Stadium is due to expire next summer, but with the club having taken a gamble on him at the height of his injury nightmare he admits that he feels indebted to those who were willing to give him a chance.
"Wigan took a chance on me when not a lot of others would and repaying them is the most important thing," he said.
"If we stay up, and there are still four games to go, then I would judge it as my best season but there is a long way to go yet."