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European Qualifiers Group E

Agbonlahor not expecting call

Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor does not have high hopes of an England recall as he feels it is a closed shop.

Last Updated: 06/05/13 at 09:07 Post Comment

Gabriel Agbonlahor: Aston Villa striker not expecting England recall

Gabriel Agbonlahor: Aston Villa striker not expecting England recall

Agbonlahor has been in fine form for Villa having scored eight goals in his last 12 Premier League games for the club, including a brace in Saturday's crucial 2-1 win at Norwich.

But the 26-year-old forward is not expecting Roy Hodgson to get in touch because he feels the England boss has his settled squad and is reluctant to change it.

"I'm not getting carried away," said Agbonlahor. "The way the England squad is now, it's a different sort of call-up.

"The manager has got players in there even if they are not playing for their clubs - the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he's not played much for Arsenal but then he gets a call-up.

"It's different to when Fabio Capello was here because he picked players on form. It's different in that team now. But it's the manager's choice and I have just got to concentrate on Villa.

"I have always said that. Club comes first and if country comes, then it comes. Of course, if the call comes then I am ready but we will have to wait and see. All that's on my mind now is playing for Villa and getting them safe."

Agbonlahor won the last of his three England caps under Capello in a World Cup qualifier against Belarus in 2009 and is arguably in the form of his life right now.

"It's hard to say if I am playing as well now as I was when I was called up the first time," added Villa's record Premier League goalscorer.

"Playing for England is always a pleasure. But the main thing for me is playing for Villa, keeping fit - because I have had a few knocks this season - and to not really worry about England at the moment."

Young players

His stay in the Premier League looks set to continue given the recent upturn in fortunes at Villa Park and Agbonlahor credits the team's young players for raising their game at the right time.

"The young lads have come through," said Agbonlahor. "They had some bad things said about them when things were not going too well.

"But they had stood up to the player and performed week in, week out, and tried their hardest to improve and they are improving game by game.

"Hopefully if we can get this season out of the way you will see more improvement next season.

"They have had a lot of pressure on them and great credit to them they've stuck at it, carried on playing and fighting in big games.

"They have not crumbled and game by game they are improving. They have come back from games like at Chelsea (where Villa lost 8-0) and long may it continue."

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