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Villa's Davies aims to retain first team spot

Curtis Davies is now determined to hold onto his Aston Villa first team place after recently being dropped. He has been rewarded with a call-up by England coach Fabio Capello for last week's friendly international with Germany in Berlin.

The former West Brom player said: "It gave me a big lift to get back into the England squad because it wasn't expected.

"I wasn't in the Villa team two weeks ago - I'd only played the three games since coming back when I got the call (from Capello).

"We won at Arsenal which was the massive game I guess because, with Rio Ferdinand, Wes Brown and Ashley Cole being injured, there were a few spaces for defenders in the England squad.

"That result must have made Mr Capello look up and think 'they must have done well to keep a clean sheet at Arsenal.' If that is what got me in, so be it.

"I am just glad to be in the mind of the manager. If I can keep my form up, hopefully I will be involved come the qualifiers in March."

Davies admitted: "When I was left out of the Villa team a couple of weeks ago it was difficult to take. In the Chelsea game, I wasn't at my best, I'll admit.

"But then we went into the Portsmouth game and kept a clean sheet against Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch, two England internationals.

"I thought 'at least we are back with a clean sheet' and then in the next game I was left out. I was more confused as to why but the manager will make his decisions and I have to stand by them.

"I managed to get back in for the UEFA Cup game away to Slavia Prague game and we put in a big performance to get a good win at a tough place.

"I've been in the team since. I can only say playing at the moment is good but I need to make sure I stay in the team and all the rest of the England stuff will come together with it."

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