England boss Keegan insisted at Tuesday’s press conference that Anderton had been unlucky to have been ruled out of his squad for the World Cup qualifying matches against Germany on Saturday and Finland next Wednesday, October 11.
Doubts over Kieron Dyer’s fitness had pundits predicting Anderton would be called into the squad and that may still be the case for Finland if injuries come into the equation after Saturday.
In the meantime, Anderton admitted on Monday that he had heard nothing and although he admits he ‘would love to be out there’ against Germany, the 28-year-old seems happy enough to have returned ahead of schedule from a groin injury in time to have faced Leeds at the weekend.
“I was surprised how good I felt at Leeds,” he said. “To play for nearly 70 minutes was a really good test for me in a game that was frenetic, they attacked, we attacked and well spread.
“It was a difficult one to come back for and I coped with it quite well. The groin felt fantastic and I did everything I normally would — corners, free-kicks, a few shots which really tested it. That was great.”
Anderton now wants to play his part in our challenge for a top six spot in the Premiership.
He added: “I hope that I can help the team and improve the team when I play. I think we played quite well especially at the end of the first half at Leeds but we gave away some bad goals and that made the game very difficult for us.
“It was a bad result. Performance-wise we played quite well, as well as we’ve played up there for a couple of years to be honest but you can’t account for the basic errors that we made.
“You couldn’t say they created fantastic goals and that’s what’s disappointing about it. But we have to take something from the game and that is that we went up to Leeds, scored three goals and could have had more.
“The results went our way so we haven’t lost that much ground and we’re not many points off the top. It’s not going too badly and it’s how we react in the next two games that will be important.”
To listen to Darren Anderton's thoughts, click here
Kevin Keegan has hinted that Darren Anderton could yet be in line for England duty — but for the time being, the midfielder will be the star attraction in our reserve game at Charlton on Wednesday night.