Phil Bardsley has no regrets about snubbing England

Phil Bardsley
Phil Bardsley
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PHIL Bardsley insists he has no regrets at turning his back on England as he bids for international silverware.

 The Sunderland defender is expected to regain his place in the Scotland line-up for tomorrow’s Carling Nations Cup decider with Ireland, after a hip injury restricted him to a substitute’s role in Wednesday’s win over Wales.

Victory for Craig Levein’s men would see them lift the trophy and cap a memorable season for Sunderland Player of the Year Bardsley.

The 25-year-old has been one of the most consistent full-backs in the Premier League and would surely have come into Fabio Capello’s thinking, with England short on options at right-back.

Tottenham’s Kyle Walker has again been called into the senior England squad for next week’s friendly with Switzerland despite making less than 20 Premier League appearances.

But after failing to earn any England recognition at under-21 level during his time at Manchester United, Bardsley remains happy to have chosen Scotland after qualifying through his Glasgow-born father.

Bardsley told the Echo: “I don’t regret it one bit.

“I had an opportunity when I was at Man United to represent England U21s and stuff and it never really happened for me.

“I’m enjoying playing for Scotland and enjoy going away with them.

“I’ve played four games already, which is not bad in a couple of months. Hopefully I can keep playing.”

Bardsley admits this season has been the best of his career after resolving to fight for his place at the Stadium of Light last summer.

The former Manchester United man knows he must continue his good form next season, although he is pleased that he heads into the summer on the back of Sunderland’s first top 10 finish in a decade.

He added: “It’s been great this season. I feel like I’ve had the best season of my career and I have to do what I did all over again.

“The first half of the season was tremendous.

“But then we lost crucial players, which was a crucial factor.

“We got some crucial results in the last few weeks of the season which allowed us to get into the top 10.

“We’ve dug in during difficult circumstances over the last few weeks.”