Coleman presses Bridge claims

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Fulham manager Chris Coleman has backed Wayne Bridge to win a place in England's World Cup squad.

A serious ankle injury picked up at the end of last season hit Bridge hard and he failed to secure a place in the Chelsea team when returning to fitness at the end of last year.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho consented to a loan approach from Fulham for Bridge, with the Portuguese tactician keen to see the full back secure regular playing time.

Bridge, who will spend the remainder of the season at Craven Cottage, has started his loan spell in good style and produced a fine display in Saturday's defeat at Manchester United.

Despite seeing his side slip to defeat and being banished to the stands for contesting United's third goal, Coleman had time to heap praise on Bridge.

"Wayne has been excellent," said the Welshman. "He has got better and better with every game.

"I thought it would take him four or five games to get the best out of him, but he has been different class in training right from the off.

"He has a fantastic attitude, has great habits and that rubs off on everybody else. He showed [against Manchester United] that he is a quality player.

"He knows he just needs games and he will be back in the England squad. He is determined to do that. He wants to go to the World Cup and fortunately for Fulham, he has another dozen or so games to play with us before that.

"I can't imagine anything else happening if he keeps playing the way he is."