Southampton's Wayne Bridge would love to be playing in front of his club's fans.
Southampton's Wayne Bridge would love to be playing in front of his club's fans, but not wearing a Saints' shirt...
Representing your country is a proud moment for any player, but particularly if the match is played at your club. That is the possibility that faces Wayne Bridge this week, as the England team travel to St Mary's, Southampton, to face Macedonia.
Although desperate to play, he does not want the coach to select him simply to please the Southampton supporters in the sell-out crowd. He wants to be in there on merit.
"It would be a huge thrill to play for England in my home city but I would not want to be in just because the game is being played here." Bridge said.
"The fact it is a qualifier means the manager cannot afford to pick players through sentiment. It is a match he has to win and he will not allow himself to be swayed.
"Of course I would be desperately disappointed to miss out but it is something I would have to deal with - and something the fans would have to handle as well.
"I know there would be a big cheer if my name was read out and an even bigger one if I came on but the manager cannot afford to let that influence him for such a vital game."
With Ashley Cole having established himself as the first choice, Bridge is still pushing and hopes to be on the bench even though he was not named among the substitutes for Saturday's 2-1 win in Slovakia.
Kieron Dyer's withdrawal may open the door for that substitute spot, but Bridge will face competition from Jonathan Woodgate if Sol Campbell replaces him in the starting line-up.
The Southampton-born star added: "I cannot begin to explain what it would mean to me to play for England in front of my home crowd and I am just keeping my fingers crossed that I at least get on the bench.
"Ashley Cole is a very good player and has done really well. I just have to make sure that if I do get a chance then I take it.
"It was disappointing not to be on the bench on Saturday. The manager did not say anything about it apart from to apologise that he could not play us all.
"It was an amazing feeling when I came on against Argentina in the World Cup but if I play tomorrow then I imagine it would be even more of a thrill.
"We generally do some work on team shape the day before a game so we get a pretty good idea of what the starting line-up will be and then the substitutes will probably be named tomorrow. I just hope I am one of them.
"I have been besieged by ticket requests from friends and family so I hope I can give them something to cheer."