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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Lambert: Agbonlahor focused

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says in-form forward Gabriel Agbonlahor is not letting his failure to make the England squad affect his game.

Last Updated: 12/09/13 at 20:49 Post Comment

Gabriel Agbonlahor: Aston Villa forward has begun the season brightly

Gabriel Agbonlahor: Aston Villa forward has begun the season brightly

Agbonlahor has been performing impressively for Villa of late but, while Rickie Lambert, Daniel Sturridge, Wilfried Zaha and Raheem Sterling have all been given recent international call-ups, the 26-year-old has been left out in the cold.

The last of Agbonlahor's three caps came back in 2009 but Lambert says neither he nor the player are fretting about the lack of England recognition.

"I'm not going to tell Roy Hodgson how to do his job," said the Villa boss. "That's his prerogative, to pick the national team. It's hard enough to pick any team.

"From my own point of view, Gabby has been playing fantastically for me, he really has.

"In the last three games, he's been excellent. He's been at the top of his game against the best teams in the land in Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

"To be fair to Gabby, he hasn't let it bother him, he's just got on with it. You can't influence somebody to pick somebody but, for me and this football club, he's playing really well."

Agbonlahor has previously missed England opportunities due to injury but Lambert says there is no doubting the player's commitment to his country.

"That's something in the past," said Lambert. "When I've spoken to him he has never indicated that he wouldn't like to play for his country.

"He's never once been anything other than 'if it happens, it happens'. What can you do? All he can do is keep playing for us and, if he keeps playing well, he might get a chance."

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