Downing vows to regain place

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Aston Villa star Stewart Downing has admitted that he was extremely disappointed to be left out of the England squad for this summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

The 25-year-old has won 23 caps for his country but the last of those came against Slovakia more than 15 months ago.

The former Middlesbrough star did not even make Fabio Capello's provisional 30-man party as he struggled to regain his best form following a long lay-off with a broken foot.

He told Villa's official website:"I was in the squads leading up to my injury. I came back from injury and they put me in the squad when I'd only played three games.

"That was a great confidence boost for me. I thought we had a good end to the season – the team were playing well.

"In the 30, there were quite a few surprises, not only in the squad but (players who were left) out of the squad as well. People who had not played, and who were out of form, were in the squad and it was a little bit strange to be honest.

"But that is his (Fabio Capello's) choice and, if he went with the 30 that he thought was the strongest, then there is no complaining. There is no point moaning about it.

"I was very disappointed. I thought I had a chance of being in the 30, considering I had been in the squad before that.

"The only thing I can do is have a good season with Villa and make sure I get in those qualifying squads. I think Capello has been quoted as saying there will be a lot of changes and he will go a different way, but we will wait and see when he names that squad in August."

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