Gary Cahill excited at John Terry link-up

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The Independent Football

Gary Cahill believes he will reap the benefits of playing alongside skipper John Terry as he looks to establish himself as an England regular.

The Bolton defender - a big fan of Tony Adams, Martin Keown and Des Walker as a youngster - impressed in partnership with Terry on his competitive debut for his country against Bulgaria in Sofia.

Cahill scored his first England goal in the Euro 2012 qualifier and hopes he has convinced Fabio Capello he should remain in the side for tomorrow's Wembley clash with Wales.

He said: "It seemed to work well (alongside Terry). There was good communication and JT is a big talker and so is (goalkeeper) Joe Hart behind you. It really helps.

"John plays left side for his club and I play right side and I think it fitted really nicely and I enjoyed it.

"Playing with one of the best defenders in world football is going to bring on your game a lot and you are going to learn a lot."

By his own admission Cahill is a "laid-back" person but there is no mistaking his desire to remain at the forefront of Capello's fans.

When asked if he hoped to keep his place when Rio Ferdinand was fully fit, Cahill said: "I want to stay in the side. There's no doubt about the quality of Rio, he is an unbelievable player.

"But, if you take your chance and play well, then hopefully you'll stay in any team, although there's no doubting the quality in the squad.

"There's a lot of competition for places which bodes well."

Cahill has no regrets about turning down the chance to play for the Republic of Ireland during the Steve Staunton era

He said: "I have none whatsoever. My dad's dad was fully Irish so that is where that (opportunity) came from and I did get asked.

"But it is something that is in your blood. I'm English and it would feel strange if I pulled on any other shirt.

"If I never had played for England, I wouldn't regret my decision.

"It's unbelievable to play for England. As a young English player coming through, playing for your country is the highest honour you can get.

"It gives you immense pride and I'm enjoying every minute. Playing for England is the pinnacle and every pro who's managed to do it would tell you that, definitely.

"I've always felt English, I wanted to play for England, and deep down I thought if I worked hard enough, I might get the opportunity."