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Wigan boss Bruce: Kirkland will make England return

Wigan boss Steve Bruce is convinced Chris Kirkland can break back into the England squad.

While Bruce admits Kirkland still has an issue with his back if he has to travel long distances, the situation is improving.

"We are trying to manage it as best we can, " said the Wigan boss. "The more he plays, the more comfortable he is with himself and the new training regime.

"Thankfully he has not missed a game all season and I am sure he will have to come into the England reckoning at some point.

"He is certainly the best goalkeeper I have worked with in my time as a manager."

Bruce revealed the club are in dialogue with Fabio Capello's backroom staff regarding the shot-stopper's fitness.

Kirkland made his one and only senior international appearance in 2006 when he stepped off the bench against Greece.

Bruce said: "We have conversations with England particularly (goalkeeping coach) Ray Clemence. Chris finds it a problem to sit on planes, buses and go travelling. We all know he has a bit of back problem.

"When he does have to fly off around the world he does struggle. But we are trying to help him as much as we can.

"He has everything you need from a goalkeeper and I am sure he must be in the thoughts of the England manager."

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