Brown ready to battle Neville

Defender prepared to fight for first-team spot

Brown: In confident mood

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Wes Brown saw his recent fine performances rewarded with an England start on Wednesday and has put his current form down to a regular run in the Manchester United first-team.

The full-back has struggled to hold down a place in the United side throughout his time at Old Trafford, but with Gary Neville having missed the entire season to date through injury he feels as though he has now finally established himself at the club and has put himself in a strong position to retain his spot even once the club captain returns.

On an international level Brown has once again had to contend with making sporadic appearances since making his debut back in 1999, but after being given the nod ahead of Micah Richards for Fabio Capello's first game in charge against Switzerland he believes that he is now capable of making the right-back spot his own.

Long time

"I've not started for England for a very long time," Brown told the Manchester Evening News.

"But I've been playing every week for United and I suppose that's why I was picked.

"Micah's a very good player and I'm sure he'll be playing for England for a very long time to come. But I've been in and out of the squad for ten years now and all I can do is try to play as well as I can and stay in the side.

Regular position

"It definitely helps the more you can play in a regular position. At club level I've been doing that and that's probably why I'm doing better than I have before.

"It's good playing regularly for your club. I'm playing right-back mainly now, which has made a big difference, and filling in at centre back when needed.

"Gary is not having a good time at the moment with injuries. He is the captain of the club, but when he comes back I will battle it out with him for the position."

Derby date

Brown is gearing up for a Manchester derby against City on Sunday and has warned his team-mates against allowing Sven-Goran Eriksson's men to record a memorable double over the Red Devils, having already gone down 1-0 at the City of Manchester Stadium back in August.

"Both teams always step up for the occasion," he said.

"It doesn't matter where they are in the league, it's 50-50 and down to whoever wants it most. We've got to show we want it more.

"They are a good team and we know what they can do. They've got some good new players and if we let them do what we did last time, they are capable of punishing us."