Downing bids for long run in England side

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Stewart Downing has set his sights on finally earning an extended run with England - six years after making his international debut.

The Aston Villa winger was part of the 2006 World Cup squad and started the opening three Euro 2008 qualifiers but is only now starting to reestablish himself as an England force.

Downing was voted Villa’s player of the year for 2010-11 and made his first start for his country for more than two years against Ghana in March.

Now the 26-year-old is looking to build on that breakthrough in Saturday’s Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland at Wembley.

Downing said: “It’s been frustrating. I’ve been in and out and you just want a run as a player, to get in the squad or the team. Maybe I am rebuilding my international career. I’ve been in and out of squads since I made my debut.

“But I’m fit and well. With the country, I’ve been involved in the last two games. I was pleased to get a start so long may that continue.

“I’m feeling confident. Hopefully I will play some part and show the manager I’m good enough to be here and to play.

“But I think every trip you go on, you’ve got to prove (yourself) and constantly impress the manager.

“You can’t rely on your last game or last performance because one iffy performance and you are out.”