Heskey receives Bridges' England backing

The former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker has made a major impact in the A-League and his team mate believes he is good enough to add to his 62 appearances for his country
Newcastle Jets striker Michael Bridges believes Emile Heskey still has what it takes to play for the best in the Premier League and earn an England recall.

The former Leicester, Liverpool and Aston Villa forward has made a solid start to his A-League career with four goals in his first four starts - including a bicycle kick as part of a double against Melbourne Victory - and Bridges believes that his team-mate could still be a success at international level.

"England's current No.9 is Andy Carroll, and while I certainly have nothing against him, I feel Emile could certainly still offer something for his country again were the chance to arise," Bridges told reporters.

"He's done many good things for England in the past and people who understand the game acknowledge that.

"As for playing for England again, personally I would say why not?

"When Emile left England after being released by Villa there were two other Premier League clubs interested in him, but he wanted to try a new adventure and getting him has been a real coup for our club.

"He's definitely still good enough to thrive in the Premier League, no doubt about it.

"He still has that hunger in his belly and I know he's been very pleasantly surprised at what the A-League has to offer."

The former Leeds United striker also believes Heskey's decision to desert England will extend his playing career.

"He will only play one game a week, the weather stops the aches and pains from past operations from resurfacing and you are not playing 60 games a season - it's more like 32 tops," he continued.

"In football terms, he has found a new lease of life. He's become a hero over here very fast, whereas in England some people always picked on the negatives.

"In Australia the feelings and sentiments couldn't be more different, and long may that continue."