Manchester United defender Chris Smalling hopes to lay down an England marker tomorrow night in Montenegro. With John Terry retired from international football and Rio Ferdinand unlikely to play for his country again, Smalling knows he has a real opportunity to impress.
He said: "I'm definitely conscious of the chance in central defence.
"There is clearly an opening there and the more games I can get, the more the position can become my own.
"I think the players who have come in have given the manager something to think about.
"A lot of players have put their cases forward in San Marino for what we know will be the big one against Montenegro.
"This has been a frustrating season for me because it didn't get started until mid-November due to injuries so it's good to be getting a run of games now.
"But I've been feeling good lately so hopefully I can finish the campaign well and have a good pre-season to make up for the one I missed last year."
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