McLeish tells Fab to grab Gab

The Aston Villa forward has endured wretched luck internationally

of late, with injuries forcing him to withdraw from the last two

Three Lions squads. Time is running out on him to impress ahead of

next summer’s European Championship, with Capello in the process of

piecing together a 23-man travelling party. Agbonlahor’s domestic

form this season suggests he will be given further opportunities to

impress, but he needs to steer clear of the treatment table. He

will be setting his sights on a friendly date with Holland in

February and his manager at club level is confident the 25-year-old

can earn himself a ticket to Poland and Ukraine. “There are a

couple more games,” said Villa boss McLeish. “Fabio Capello has got

the door open. I don’t think he has got the door closed on anybody.

“It’s just a shame that after Gabby turned up and trained he got

the injury, but the England camp were adamant he needed to come

back. “They did a scan on him and flagged up the nick on his

hamstring. “I’m sure he is disappointed because he saw a wee chink

of light that he’d possibly get some playing time. “He went in good

faith and unfortunately he came back with this little problem. But

he’s still young and still has the opportunities if he continues to

play at the level he’s playing for us. “Gabby’s certainly got a lot

to give for England. We want Gabby to maintain the form he’s in to

catch Capello’s eye, hopefully for the European Championships.”