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Wigan boss: Kirkland is England's answer

Wigan Athletic boss Chris Hutchings says Chris Kirkland is the man to solve England's goalkeeper problems.

Hutchings said: "No question about it. He's a quality goalkeeper and I have every faith in him to do a job, whether it be for Wigan or England.

"He's had a few injuries and I imagine Steve (McClaren) would want to see him in the first few games of this season and how he's performing.

"And if he keeps clean sheets and the team performs well then I see no reason why he can't get back in that squad.

"But that's up to Steve to come down. I'm sure he will have had people at the games anyway, monitoring his progress, and we'll have to wait and see when the next squad's announced whether he's included or not."

Kirkland's progress at club and international level has been dogged by a catalogue of injuries since Liverpool signed him from Coventry in August, 2001.

The 26-year-old had forced his way into Sven Goran Eriksson's plans but a wrist injury scuppered his chances of playing in Euro 2004 and then last season a broken finger curtailed his season in February.

Now fully fit again, Kirkland has regained his place in the Wigan side and after keeping two successive clean sheets in an impressive start to the season Hutchings hopes his luck has changed.

"The last injury was through no fault of his own. It was just something that happens on the training ground," added the Wigan boss.

"Sometimes you can go a season or a couple of seasons getting injured and he just needs to hopefully have one where he doesn't get injured.

"I'm sure Chris is looking forward to getting another season under his belt, but we have got three good keepers now with Mike Pollitt and Carlo Nash who are pushing him hard."

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Tribal Football Staff

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