Goalkeeper Robert Green has spelt out his determination to be part of Fabio Capello's 2010 World Cup plans.
Injuries to David James and Ben Foster have played a large part in presenting the opportunity to Green - who wore gloves with 'England's number six' written on them at one point last season because he felt he had slipped so far down the pecking order - to make his first international start against either Kazakhstan on Saturday or against Andorra on June 10.
He said: "The 'number six' gloves thing is ancient history now, or at least I thought it was until people started bringing it up this week. It was 18 months ago. It was just a gag started up by the West Ham fans, a light-hearted jibe, a bit of self-deprecation on my part."
He added: "But I never seriously thought my England chance had gone. I'm still fairly young. I've not hit 30 yet.
"You look at someone like David James who has done tremendously well for his country and he is now in his late 30s.
"I've got nearly 10 years on him yet and he is still going strong. You've got to take stock of that and how well he has done and how strong he is looking and how he plays.
"You take encouragement from that - and hopefully between now and the time I'm 39 I'll hopefully get a chance!"
Green is competing with the recalled Paul Robinson and Scott Carson for a place but feels he is ready to stake his claim if given the call-up by Fabio Capello.
He said: "There is a step to be taken and you should never deny yourself that step up. I am very hopeful of getting my first start.
"I've looked and watched and taken part on a few occasions with the first team, and it is a tremendous honour to be there, but it feels like an opportunity is there to be taken."
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