Date: 3rd March 2006 at 12:25pm
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Wes Brown still hasn’t given up hope of making it into Sven-Goran Eriksson’s World Cup squad. But, if it happens, could Rio Ferdinand be the player to miss out?

Brown returned to the England fold for this week’s friendly win over Uruguay, although he didn’t make the field. But Rio has taken stick from some quarters, asking if he is up to the job in Germany.

Eriksson described Brown as the ‘best natural defender’ he has worked with, which is praise indeed.

Brown: ‘There is a lot of competition for defensive positions at United. Two more defenders came in during January but, as I have said plenty of times before, greater competition makes it better for everyone.

‘When new players come in, you know you have to play well otherwise you will be out of the side. It makes you stand up for yourself.

‘My target is to get to Germany with England this summer but I realise my chances of being involved will be enhanced by playing more often at club level.’