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Sep, 2, 2010

Campbell refuses to give up on England dream

Sol Campbell has not given up hope on winning an England recall - despite the fact he will celebrate his 36th birthday in two weeks' time.

• Carson forced to pull out
• Shrews set for £500,000 windfall

England coach Fabio Capello has already cast doubt on David Beckham's ability to play at international level. Beckham is eight months younger than Campbell and has played international football as recently as last October, when he came off the bench in a World Cup qualifier against Belarus.

Campbell, who has been in the international wilderness since winning the last of his 73 caps under Steve McClaren in 2007, joined Newcastle United on a free transfer in the summer and made his first appearance for the reserves on Monday - and is still some way of match fitness.

Even when Campbell is fully fit, it is far from certain he will be able to shift either Fabricio Coloccini or Mike Williamson who have both played well on their return to the Premier League. Even so, Campbell believes he has something to offer England.

"I think it all comes down to who is at the helm and the people behind the associations," Campbell said. "They are going to make all the decisions and it is also the mentality of the nation. You go to Italy and defenders and goalkeepers can go on and on and on really.

"You can roll the names off of the guys who have played well into their late 30s at international level so I think it sometimes goes down to mentality. It doesn't matter where you are at with your age, if you are fit and you are strong and you are physically there and you want it, then you have got the experience so I think there should be no problem really.

"I think last season for sure. I have still got it. I still have the passion, the fire in my belly. I want to win. But you just can't do anything about it anymore. So I am not going to fight. I am going to fight on the pitch for Newcastle and if it comes to the stage where someone says can you fight for England then I will fight for England. But I am not going to go on about it. It is just not worth it.

"Last season I worked really hard and I think I showed to all the people that if you work hard then you are there. If you get an opportunity, you get an opportunity but it really comes down to the people behind the scenes and the manager.

"You can't do anything about it. I could have scored ten goals in the first half of the season. It doesn't matter."

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