Gary Cahill believes he is not an old-fashioned "head it and clear the ball" type of defender and has the qualities needed to step up to international level with England.
Cahill has noted how Fabio Capello's number one centre-back pairing of skipper John Terry and Rio Ferdinand show composure on the ball in addition to their defensive qualities. The Bolton man actually began his career as a central midfielder at Aston Villa before being converted via the youth and reserve teams into his current position.
Now Cahill is pressing for an England debut after being called into the squad for the trip to Ukraine in place of the injured Joleon Lescott and Cahill, whose hero as a youngster was former England defender Des Walker, said: "I'd like to think I'm not just a 'head and clear it' sort of defender. I'd like to think I can get the ball down and play it."
He added: "I believe that is very important when you make that step up to international level, that you have got a bit more about your game.
"If you look at the centre-backs who have played for England, like John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, both are good players on the ball as well as being great defenders.
"I actually used to play centre-midfield and then I shot up (in height). It happened at Villa with Tony McAndrew (youth coach) and then I stayed there and then I went on with Kevin MacDonald (reserve coach) and stayed there again.
"In a way it has been good because you see different sides of the game."
Cahill has had the unusual distinction of being drafted into the squad on three successive occasions after being on standby duty.
He said: "The boys at Bolton would have had a bit of time off but, because of the previous two times with England, I was a bit reluctant to go anywhere. I was just lingering around - and I am glad I did.
"I think I cancelled something the first time it happened, nothing major though. The last time I left it late to do anything. Thankfully I've not lost any money on cancelled trips!"
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