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Wigan keeper Kirkland chasing England No1 spot

Chris Kirkland is hoping to convince new England manager Fabio Capello he has what it takes to become his new long-term number one.

Wigan's stopper is vying with David James at Portsmouth and Aston Villa's Scott Carson for the starting role against Switzerland at Wembley in Capello's first match in charge on Wednesday.

James is arguably favourite, given his prior experience, but 26-year-old Kirkland is determined to add to his one cap.

"I am sure Mr Capello has his own ideas - but I'll enjoy it, train well and hope to impress. That's all I can do," said Kirkland, after keeping a clean sheet to help Wigan to a Barclays Premier League win at home to West Ham on Saturday.

"But deep down I hope I get the nod, and if I do it will be a great boost for me. I'm not aiming to be there just to make up the numbers.

"He's obviously been at a few games, and that has been good. It's going to be a different set-up, and I'm looking forward to see how he works.

"I'm sure he'll sit down and have a meeting with the squad, and he will say what he wants and expects."

Capello's call to arms, though, was a surprise to Kirkland - who concedes that when it came to England he had "forgotten about it."

"I just wanted to concentrate on playing a full season for Wigan," he added.

"I've always wanted to make sure we do well, that we stay up - and I'd have taken that. But this has come as a welcome tonic for me."

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Tribal Football Staff

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