England midfielder Gareth Barry has urged his Aston Villa team-mate, Ashley Young, not to lose heart with England as the winger prepares for what looks like another 90 minutes on the bench tonight.

The Villa captain has told the former Watford youngster that the only way to stay in Steve McClaren's international plans is to maintain his sparkling club form under Martin O'Neill.

Villa's £9.5 million record signing has been in sterling shape so far this season in the Premier League for O'Neill's side, having caught the eye with England Under-21s in the European Championships in Holland in the summer.

He was named in the England senior squad for the crucial two European 2008 Championship qualifiers against Israel on Saturday and Russia this evening but has yet to make it off the bench.

Barry himself knows all about having to be patient for a place in the England set-up. He is due to start tonight in the first back-to-back England matches of his career despite collecting 11 caps under five managers since making his national debut at Wembley against Ukraine in May 2000.

Barry said: "If Ashley keeps playing so well for Villa, I am sure he will get another call-up. Ash has looked right at home straight away and it certainly helped that he came into the squad on the back of a brilliant performance for us against Chelsea.

"Since the minute he came back from pre-season training he has been full of confidence and that can be a big thing, especially for forwards. He wasn't involved against Israel and he might not play against Russia but the experience of being in the squad will have done him a lot of good.

"Like me, he will want to be back for the trip to Russia next month. These are big, important games and we all want to be involved in them but, to stay in the England squad, you have to keep performing for your club."

Barry, who has received rave reviews for his performance alongside Steven Gerrard in England's 3-0 victory over Israel at the weekend, added: "Ash should go into Sunday's game with Manchester City with loads of confidence because his form has been recognised by Steve McClaren and that is the form he has to continue.

"Having three players in the England squad is great for Villa. Hopefully, we can build on the Chelsea win to raise the profile of the club. Then, maybe people like Gabby Agbonlahor and Nigel Reo-Coker can get called up."