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Southgate says Johnson deserves England spot ahead of Man City pal Wright-Phillips

Former Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate says Adam Johnson should go to the World Cup ahead of his Manchester City teammate Shaun Wright-Phillips.

The ex-Riverside boss believes the writing may already be on the wall for Wright-Phillips, an unused substituted in Monday night's 2-1 win over Mexico.

Speaking at ITV's launch of their World Cup coverage yesterday, Southgate said: "Adam can beat people from a standing start and can dribble between people, which could make the difference in a tight international game.

"He has also finished the season strongly with Manchester City.

"I would take him if I was manager, along with Joe Cole. They might be wild cards but you could throw them into a game to open it up. At the moment it doesn't look like Shaun Wright-Phillips will go. He didn't have any involvement the other night.

"The fact that (Fabio Capello) started with Theo Walcott against Mexico and then brought on Aaron Lennon means that Shaun will be up against it. Adam is pretty confident in his own ability and his world has changed a lot in the last six months.

"The previous season he was not ready for the Premier League. Last year we said it would be perfect for him in the Championship and he set it alight. He then got a move at the right time, and feeling wanted by Manchester City gave him a boost and he has carried that confidence through.

"It is a huge bonus he is in the squad. He was playing against Scunthorpe earlier this year, so his rise has been incredible."

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