Roy Hodgson admits Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard will have to up his performance level to break back into the England squad.
Bullard was called into the England setup for the September games against Andorra and Croatia, although he did not make Fabio Capello’s bench.
However, his form has dipped in recent weeks and he was left out of Capello’s squad for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers with Kazakhstan and Belarus earlier this month.
The 30-year-old had played a key role in Fulham avoiding relegation last season after returning from a serious knee injury and Hodgson is keen for the former Wigan Athletic ace to recapture that form.
“His form has been okay, but when he came back into the team (last season) he came back in with pomp and ceremony and scored a couple of fantastic free-kick goals,” said Hodgson.
“That, allied to the fact we were making a miraculous escape from relegation and keeping our place in the Premier League, maybe elevated him to a status that it’s not possible to maintain.
“If he wants to kick on and wants to be part of that England team, and be amongst the Lampards and the Gerrards, then he has to accept that this is how it’s going to be, and he has to make sure his performances are spot-on in every respect.”
The Fulham boss also revealed he has despatched scouts across the continent to size up potential new signings for the January transfer window.
He added: “There will be a new opportunity to bring one or two fresh faces into the club, so the scouting department is functioning at the very highest level in an attempt to single out possible and potential players for that market.
“It’s not something we actually discuss day to day because our day-to-day business is always trying to make sure we’ve got a team that is ready for the match we’re down to play.”