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Roma progress excites fans

By ESPN Staff

'I never doubted my ability' - Recalled Heskey

Emile Heskey has urged Steve McClaren to give him the chance to prove he is good enough to play for England again.

The Wigan striker could be set to play his first international in more than three years after McClaren drafted him for the European Championship qualifiers against Israel and Russia.

Heskey, 29, admits he was beginning to question whether he would ever pull on the Three Lions jersey again but has no doubt he can still do a job at the highest level.

He said in the Daily Mail: 'I still feel like I'm the same player as when I last played for England three years ago. I still believe in myself and I still believe that I'm a good player.

'I don't feel that I've changed much as a player, but I do have more experience now.

'I never doubted my ability, but the longer it goes without getting a call into the squad, the more you begin to wonder whether it will happen again.

'It's been three years since I last played for England and it's a long time. I kept hoping that it would happen and it's an opportunity to show that I'm good enough.'

Despite scoring only five times in his 43 caps, Heskey proved a good foil for Michael Owen when they were paired for England.

McClaren has hinted he may be ready to resurrect their partnership and Heskey believes his and Owen's contrasting styles would complement each other perfectly.

'Of course Michael and I are different players, there's no doubt about that,' he said.

'I know how he plays and we've proved we can play together. We complement each other's games. He is a quality striker and he is there to get goals.

'We saw what kind of player he is on Saturday when he scored (for Newcastle) in the last minute against us. He has the ability to pop up from nowhere to score goals, but my strengths are in other areas of the pitch.

'You have to play with Michael to appreciate what a good player he is and he is certainly that. I don't know if it is a plan for us to start together against Israel, but I know I am good enough to play for England.

'If I get the chance, I will prove it. I don't have any doubt - why should I?'

Although Heskey always held out hope for an England recall, he admitted the decision came as a shock.

'I had no idea that I was under consideration by the England manager,' he said.

'I got a call late on Saturday evening from Steve McClaren and he told me I'd impressed him against Newcastle.

'It was a fantastic moment but I'm not going to be fazed by it.'