Villa star targets England call-up

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Aston Villa defender Stephen Warnock believes a door may have been opened for him to earn an England World Cup call-up after Wayne Bridge's decision to quit international football for the foreseeable future.

Warnock has played only six minutes for his country as a late substitute in the away friendly with Trinidad and Tobago in June 2008. His immediate focus is on the Carling Cup final with Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday with Villa looking to lift their first trophy for 14 years. But Warnock has moved up Fabio Capello's pecking order with Ashley Cole's ankle injury and Bridge's decision to stand down from being selected for his country.

Asked if Bridge's stance put him a great position, Warnock said: "I don't know. That is the manager's decision at the end of the day, whom he picks and whom he thinks is right for the job."

He added: "All I can do is concentrate on my form for Villa and hope that is enough to impress the manager.

"I was pushing for it anyway and always felt if my form was good enough, I could push Wayne Bridge as hard as I could.

"But, with the events that have unfolded, possibly it opens a door and you just never know what could happen.

"I have never made any secret of my ambition to play for my country again."

Warnock has been in excellent form for Villa since his £7million move from Blackburn in the summer and is relishing the clash with Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

He said: "The atmosphere in the camp is great. People are looking forward to going to the final.

"It is a great occasion for the club. When I was packing my bag and getting my suit ready, it really kicked in that we are going to Wembley."

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Ashley Cole
Wayne Bridge
Premier League
Stephen Warnock
Aston Villa

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