Fulham manager Chris Coleman is convinced that left-back Wayne Bridge needs nothing more than a regular run of matches to put his injury woes behind him and guarantee his place in England’s World Cup squad.
Bridge’s prospects did not initially look good when he was carried off with damaged angle ligaments in England’s 2-1 win over Uruguay at Anfield on March 1.
But the defender, on loan from Chelsea where he had struggled with injury, showed his determination by making a quicker than expected recovery.
And, after missing last week’s 0-0 draw at Aston Villa with a hip problem, he is hoping to return once more against Portsmouth at Craven Cottage tomorrow.
Coleman does not believe Bridge has anything to prove with Arsenal’s Ashley Cole, also currently on the sidelines, the only English left-sided defender in the same class.
The Welshman explained: “I’ve seen all the other left-backs in the league.
“I know Ashley Cole, who is an excellent player, is coming back from injury but I see Wayne as one of the best left-backs – but what he needs is games.
“If he’s back in the team until the end of the season that’s all he needs.
“All he needs is to get through some 90 minutes, keep the standard up that’s he’s shown since he’s been here and if he does that I’m convinced he’ll be going to the World Cup.
“If it was me – and I’m not trying to tell anyone how to do their job, of course – he would be straight into the squad.
“All Wayne has to do is concentrate on his own game, not try to do anything too much and he’ll get noticed anyway.”