Davies baffled by Villa snub as he pushes claim to be an England regular

Curtis Davies admitted he was 'confused' by his recent omission from the Aston Villa side but is now determined to hold on to his place to bolster his chances of remaining part of the England squad.

Central defender Davies was axed from the starting line-up for a four-match spell by Villa boss Martin O'Neill.

But he impressed after his return in Villa's 2-0 win at Arsenal and was rewarded with a call-up from England manager Fabio Capello for last week's friendly international with Germany in Berlin.

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Curtis Davies and Wayne Rooney

Playing with the big boys: Curtis Davies (centre) tries to thwart Manchester United's Wayne Rooney

Davies was a non-playing substitute but it has given him the appetite to continue playing well for Villa in the hope of further recognition in the World Cup qualifiers.

The former West Brom player said: 'It gave me a big lift to get back into the England squad because it wasn't expected. I wasn't in the Villa team two weeks ago, I'd only played the three games since coming back when I got the call (from Capello).

'We won at Arsenal, which was the massive game I guess because, with Rio Ferdinand, Wes Brown and Ashley Cole being injured, there were a few spaces for defenders in the England squad.

'That result must have made Mr Capello look up and think "they must have done well to keep a clean sheet at Arsenal". If that is what got me in, so be it.

Curtis Davies

Sterling return: Curtis Davies excelled against Arsenal after a spell on the sidelines

'I am just glad to be the mind of the manager. If I can keep my form up, hopefully I will be involved come the qualifiers in March.'

Davies admitted: 'When I was left out of the Villa team a couple of weeks ago it was difficult to take. In the Chelsea game, I wasn't at my best, I'll admit.

'But then we went into the Portsmouth game and kept a clean sheet against Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch, two England internationals.

'I thought "at least we are back with a clean sheet" and then in the next game I was left (out). I was more confused as to why I was left out but the manager will make his decisions and I have to stand by them.

'I managed to get back in for the UEFA Cup game away to Slavia Prague and we put in a big performance to get a good win at a tough place.

'I've been in the team since. I can only say playing at the moment is good but I need to make sure I stay in the team and all the rest of the England stuff will come together with it.'

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