Ridgewell eyeing England spot

BY foxsports • November 19, 2010

Capello handed first caps to Andy Carroll, Jay Bothroyd and Jordan Henderson in Wednesday's Wembley clash with France, and since England's World Cup failure has also blooded Kevin Davies, Kieran Gibbs, Bobby Zamora, Gary Cahill and Jack Wilshere at international level. Ridgewell won England Under-21 honours earlier in his career and, at the age of 26, is confident he can still be worth a chance at senior level. He says the same of Birmingham team-mates Roger Johnson and Scott Dann. "You see people given a go at the England stage and we're the same, the three of us," Ridgewell said. "There's a transition in English football and everyone wants to be part of it, myself included. "We're just trying to keep our heads down and try to keep going. As long as we keep performing and doing well for our club I'm sure we'll get a chance." Having moved to left-back this season, from his more familiar central station, Ridgewell hopes his versatility could work in his favour with England. And he would not be the first Birmingham defender in recent years to win England recognition, should the call come. Ridgewell recalled: "Matty Upson got a cap a few years ago for Blues and that was great and hopefully I can do the same as he did." The England ambition will not be fulfilled until at least next year, with Capello's team having no remaining fixtures in 2010. Ridgewell's short-term objective is to see Birmingham pick up their form, after a run of four games without a win. Three of the matches have been drawn, against West Ham, Aston Villa and Manchester City, with Stoke inflicting the only defeat, but Birmingham have slipped into the relegation zone, albeit with just three points separating them from 10th place. Premier League leaders Chelsea are the visitors to St Andrew's on Saturday, chastened by their 3-0 home defeat to Sunderland last weekend. Ridgewell is hoping a positive result can set Birmingham off on an unbeaten run. He said: "I think if we win it would be a great start. "Look at it last season. I think we got to about this time and we suddenly went 12 unbeaten. "The bottom three wasn't talked about. We've just got to keep looking up and keep doing well and I'm sure it will turn around." Although Chelsea were destroyed by Sunderland at Stamford Bridge, and will be without several senior players on Saturday through injury, Ridgewell admires the talent available to Carlo Ancelotti. "They've still got other players who can tear defences to shreds," Ridgewell said, "and I'm sure they'll be looking to do that. We've got to be right on them." Birmingham manager Alex McLeish is not overly concerned by the team's league standing at this stage of the season, given his confidence in the players. "We had a good run round around this time last season," the former Scotland boss said. "You could have a good run in the end part of the season. It doesn't matter when you have a good run, it's important that come May we're sitting in a healthy position." Birmingham are scoring at an average of just over one goal per game, and McLeish knows that low rate is a problem, "The thing for us last season was maybe we didn't score enough goals and we certainly haven't scored enough this season," he said. "That makes a difference. We are making the chances however and that helps me to sleep at night." He added: "If you don't get results it's obviously a concern but if we were playing badly I'd be even more paranoid about the whole thing." McLeish is hoping striker Nikola Zigic can carry the form he has been showing for Serbia on to the Premier League stage. The former Valencia player scored against Bulgaria on Wednesday, his fourth goal in four internationals. McLeish said: "He scored a good goal, ran between two defenders, took it on his chest and slotted it away "So I'm looking for him to do more of that for us quite simply."


share story