Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor is delighted with his England call-up.
He was capped 29 times for the Under-21s but has never made a senior appearance and has featured in the senior squad only once — for a friendly against Germany under Steve McClaren back in 2007.
He said: “Last season Fabio Capello didn’t come to watch Newcastle even when we had the best defensive record up to Christmas.
“The gaffer, Alan Pardew, saw Capello at an event and told him: ‘You should come and see Taylor.’
“Capello said: ‘I’m all right for midfielders’.
“That did a lot for my confidence. It was almost back to the feeling I had when we got relegated.
“It killed me when we went down. Capello said he wasn’t going to pick anybody in the Championship.
“But England is the biggest, greatest honour for a professional footballer.”
Taylor refused to give up on his England dream despite being so far down the pecking order.
He said: “I’ve always thrived on competition at Newcastle. I had seven centre-halves ahead of me before I made my debut.”