Heskey's club class
Monday, 01 March, 2010
Striker pleased to see fellow Villans involved.
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Emile Heskey made the short trip from Wembley to the England squad meet-up in Hertfordshire on Sunday evening, accompanied by no fewer than three of his Aston Villa team-mates.
Whilst no doubt disappointed to be on the losing side against Manchester United in the League Cup Final earlier, the striker will at least have safety in numbers from the jibes of Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick, as he’s joined by fellow Villans James Milner, Stewart Downing and Stephen Warnock in the squad.
The likes of Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor have also appeared in Fabio Capello’s squads in recent months too and Heskey believes it’s good for both club and country that so many of Martin O'Neill's men have been well represented on the international stage.
“There are a few of the lads at Villa that might be in with a chance of playing and hopefully going to the World Cup,” he told TheFA.com ahead of Wednesday’s game with Egypt.
“We’re lucky that we’ve got quite a few English lads involved there and we’re playing well together, so that can only bode well for the future.
“It helps that there are a few of us playing together, being in the same team together 24-7 at a club level.
“We all know each other and I think that has helped people settle into the squad when they’ve been called up for the first time.”
Heskey himself has become an important figure in Capello’s squads, forming a useful strike partnership with Rooney, who proved to be a thorn in Villa’s on Sunday by notching the winning goal at Wembley.
“Wayne is a great player, and has been in some terrific form recently, and hopefully he can keep going with that,” added Heskey.
“Whoever plays up front can make up a good partnership, but the one with Wayne and myself has been quite successful in Qualifying and it came to us both pretty naturally really.”
The former Leicester City, Liverpool, Birmingham and Wigan man refuses to look too far into the future though.
As one of the squad’s more experienced heads, he went to the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea and has 57 caps to his name, he knows that the only way to seal a spot in Capello’s final squad is to keep at the top of his game.
“I just want to keep playing, putting in performances and getting as many games and goals as I can,” he admitted.
“If I can do that, then fingers crossed, I may have a chance to be in the squad for the World Cup.”
There is a full interview with Heskey in Wednesday’s match programme, where he talks about the World Cup Qualifying campaign, the spirit and belief in the squad and much more. Click here to buy a copy now.