Martin O'Neill has backed Nigel Reo-Coker to work his way into the England picture ahead of the Euro 2008 finals.
Reo-Coker joined Aston Villa from West Ham for £8.5million in the summer and will come up against his former club for the first time this weekend.
The midfielder has shone since moving to Villa Park and O'Neill does not think he is far away from breaking into the England team.
"He has done well for us and is very conscientious. He is still finding his feet here and that is pleasing because there is much more to come from him," O'Neill said.
"I think if England qualify for Euro 2008, which you would expect them to, then Nigel would have time to make a big enough impression to be heading with that squad to Austria and Switzerland in the summer time.
"That should be a driving ambition of his - and I am sure it is."
Mullins makes plans
Hayden Mullins is excited by the prospect of facing his former midfield partner when West Ham visit Villa on Saturday.
Mullins said: "Playing against him is a challenge I am looking forward to.
"He is probably the best midfield partner I have had, but I know his strengths, and hopefully I'll be able to combat him.
"I've spoken to him this week, and he is up for the game. We're his old club and he wants to put one over on us - but we want to put one over on him."