DAVID Stockdale can rekindle his England hopes when he takes over from Mark Schwarzer in Fulham’s goal next week – according to his boss.
Stockdale will don the gloves against WBA on Tuesday because Fulham’s number one is on his way with Australia to the Asia Cup, although Mark Hughes has ruled out a loan keeper while Schwarzer is away for at least five games.
The Whites manager will upgrade 20-year-old Neil Etheridge from the academy to the bench and insists Stockdale is good enough to get Fulham upwardly mobile.
The former Darlington shot-stopper was being slated to join the England camp in August before an ankle injury in the 2-2 draw at Blackpool strangled his chances at birth.
But Hughes is confident a decent showing while Schwarzer sweats in Qatar will have England coach Fabio Capello back to Craven Cottage checking on the 25-year-old.
Hughes said: "David got near to an England squad and probably would have been in – and we’ve got to hope he makes a similar impression.
"He did really well when he came in at the beginning of the season – and there’s no reason why he can’t do the same."
"Ideally for us, it would be good if Australia got knocked in the group stages of the Asia Cup – but that’s not going to happen looking at their group.
"But we’ve got Neil Etheridge coming back from international duty (with the Philippines) – and we’re comfortable with our situation."