Lambert: Delph's World Cup dream still alive

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has backed Fabian Delph to earn a call-up to England's FIFA World Cup squad.

The midfielder, who has represented his country at Under-21s level, has been in excellent form this season, helping Villa climb to the safety of mid-table after fighting a relegation battle for most of the last campaign.

And Lambert believes that the 24-year-old, whose progress has been hindered by a series of injuries, could catch the eye of national coach Roy Hodgson.

"I can only speak from my time here and in nearly two seasons that I've been here he's done fantastic for us," Lambert said in quotes reported by The Birmingham Mail.

"But I think that the injury situation with him has probably stopped him going as quickly as he should have.

"If England did call him in and give him a chance he wouldn't let anybody down, but that's up to the England manager to assess.

"I don't know if he's got a chance, but I always think there's one surprise.

"Whether it's Fabian or someone else, I don't know. But at the minute he's playing really well for us, which is my concern at the moment."

Delph was a highly rated youngster at Leeds United and moved to Villa Park in 2009.