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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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By ESPN Staff

Agbonlahor wants Capello to keep the faith

Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is hoping England coach Fabio Capello will keep faith with him for next month's friendly international against France in Paris.

Agbonlahor was devastated to have to withdraw from the squad to face Switzerland at Wembley three weeks ago - his first senior international call-up - with a hamstring injury.

But the academy product got over the disappointment thanks to the strong support of his family before making a successful return to action in Sunday's 2-1 win at Reading, which kept Villa on course for Europe.

Agbonlahor said: 'I was devastated to get injured. I hadn't had an injury all season and had played week in, week out. Then I get one that week of all weeks.

'It was a real low point after the high of being called up into the final squad the day before. I had really been hoping I might get the chance to play against Switzerland alongside the other Villa lads (Gareth Barry and Ashley Young).

'It was a really disappointing time for me because I had been looking forward to joining up with the squad. I watched the game on TV and I watched the players come on. I was just gutted that I wasn't there.

'I was really, really down but my family helped me through it. My mum, my dad, my sisters and my brothers were all there for me.

'They told me that I would get my chance again and that really helped. My mum was the main one who supported me through it all while my dad said he was sure there would be other chances for me with England.

'I think he was just really proud of the fact that I had been selected in the first place.

'Hopefully I will be in the squad for the next international and I hope I can do enough to be called up by Mr Capello.'

Agbonlahor came through the game against the Royals with flying colours and set up the opening goal for Ashley Young.

He said: 'I was just glad to be back and playing again. I was really pleased with the performance and really pleased to get through the game without any problems after the injury.

'It was a decent performance by the team and kept us in the hunt for Europe, which is what we want to qualify for at the end of the season.'