Anderton's French fancy
English Barclays Premiership
Darren Anderton has admitted he is surprised to be back on the England scene - but insists he doesn't just want to go along to France for the ride.
Our midfielder is looking to add to his 27 caps when Kevin Keegan's men take on the World and European champions in Paris on Saturday.
Anderton missed out on this summer's European Championships when he was advised by specialists to rest a nagging Achilles problem. The difficult decision looks to have paid dividends as the 28-year-old has been in fine form so far this season - form which has won him an immediate international recall.
Facing the nation's press on Tuesday, Anderton admitted: "I'd love to play and any sort of appearance would be a real bonus. I was a little surprised to be called up again but now I'm here I'd like to play.
"The aim in football is to be the best you can and this is the chance to judge yourself by playing against the best in the world. It also gives you confidence to come away with England and to be part of the squad. If you can perform well against the World champions then of course it makes you feel good and you can take that back to your club."
Anderton maintains that his summer break and a full pre-season programme has made all the difference. "I've had a full pre-season, that's the main thing," he said. "I think in a four-year period I've not had a complete pre-season and I can feel the benefits of it now. Now I want to stay injury free."