Belfast Telegraph

Agbonlahor hopes for England chance

In-form Gabby Agbonlahor is hoping to follow Aston Villa team-mate Fabian Delph with a return to the England squad.

The Villa striker believes the Barclays Premier League club can match his ambitions after he signed a new four-year deal last week.

Agbonlahor has not played for the Three Lions since 2009 but has scored two goals in his side's opening four Premier League games this season.

And, after Delph made his first two appearances for England earlier this month, Agbonlahor is eager to join him to cap his new contract at Villa Park.

"Yes, it's always been an ambition. But I'm going to concentrate on Aston Villa and give 100 per cent for them and if England come knocking I'm available," said the 27-year-old.

"I've been through good and bad times and I've always been an Aston Villa player. I could never see myself playing for another team and wearing a different shirt.

"I think the club can go and do things. We've done well in the transfer window and hopefully we can keep improving game by game."

Agbonlahor has won three England caps and his winner in the 1-0 victory at Liverpool on Saturday sent Paul Lambert's side second in the table.

They host Arsenal on Saturday before going to Chelsea at the end of the month. Villa then welcome Manchester City and visit Everton in their first two matches of October.

Lambert's side have confounded the critics who predicted a struggle to be among the early pacesetters after three years battling relegation.

Agbonlahor, who made his debut for Villa in 2006, is one of the senior squad members and insisted the ability to fight through their problems has been key.

"We've had a tough few years as a team, but the younger players have stuck together," he said.

"The young players have not thrown in the towel, they've kept going.

"This season, in the first four games, we are reaping the benefits of it. It shows how strong minded the players are that they can go through the tough times we've had here.

"We've had some real lows you know, hopefully now we can keep enjoying our football and get results."

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