Date: 18th February 2010 at 5:28pm
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Martin O’Neill has said he sees no reason why Stephen Warnock nor Stewart Downing can’t gain themselves a place in the England World cup squad.

O’Neill was speaking on the Official Site ahead of a busy and important 10 days for us.

We have Burnley up next with a desperate need for another 3 points to get our Top 4 push properly back on track, then we have the replay against Palace in the FA Cup and of course the daddy of the fixture list for this season, the Carling Cup Final against Man U.

With Villa doing well on all angles this season he sees no reason at all for the other England players to not be in with a shout of joining Heskey and Milner who you assume would be shoe ins. Capello has seen enough of us already, and will no doubt see plenty more as the season comes to an end.

‘I don’t see why not really, surely there must be places up for grabs that the England manager is not completely decided upon.’

For Warnock and downing especially, Monny thinks they are already in Fabio’s selection dilemma but for differing reasons.

‘Stephen has been hovering around the squad just recently and that’s good news and Stewart has been out with injury but I think Capello a lot of him beforehand anyway.’

With Downing slowly getting sharper after his injury, O’Neill still thinks there will be plenty more to come from him once he is 100% fit. He adds we’ll see the best of him after a pre season and having played so many games in quick succession, from a relatively low fitness point, a break would do him the world of good – but despite all that we’ve been able to see the quality of his delivery, even though we’ve yet to see him really run at a defender.

For a lot of fans it seems Downing has gone off the boil, but it’s hard to criticise given he hasn’t really had a break since returning from injury – early. He’s showing flashes of the player he was at Boro, and I’ve no doubts we’ll see him back properly when his fitness and recuperation is balanced.

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