Chris Smalling was surprised to be left out of Gareth Southgate's last England squad, but believes his Manchester United form "under one of the most successful managers" in Jose Mourinho can lead to a recall.
The centre-back was an unexpected absentee for the recent home friendlies against Germany and Brazil, with Southgate stating a desire to "play in a certain way" as he switched to a three-man defensive line.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Basel, Smalling responded to the England coach's explanation by pointing to his list of achievements at United, having won all three major domestic trophies and also the Europa League during his time at Old Trafford.
The 27-year-old is playing regularly under Jose Mourinho this season too, often in a four-man backline but, on occasion, also in the 3-5-2 system Southgate appears to favour ahead of next year's World Cup.
"Was I surprised? Yes, I was," Smalling said at a pre-match press conference.
"But you don't play for one of the biggest clubs in the world for as long as I have and probably won the most trophies, bar the Champions League, without being able to do everything a top defender needs to do, be it playing or defending.
"I'm getting a good run of games, feeling good, and that's what I want - to be a part of a successful team.
"This year, as a team, we've got the best defensive record, we have done for the last few years and I'm very proud to be part of that.
"While I'm playing under Jose Mourinho and he's happy and I'm playing regularly, then I'm happy with that.
"I play for one of the biggest clubs and under one of the most successful managers and as long as that's the case, I think, ultimately, it's your club form that decides whether you play at a World Cup."
Mourinho confirmed Smalling will start in the Group A fixture with Basel, as fellow defenders Eric Bailly and Phil Jones again find themselves on the sidelines.
But, while they are short at the back, United were boosted at the weekend by the return of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, adding further firepower to their attack.
"I think it would strike fear into myself if I was playing against them, and it strikes fear into most teams," Smalling said of United's forward options.
"Obviously we've got Paul back too, who's a very attacking midfielder, and along with Ibra - and all those other names - it just gives us so many options."
|Don´t talk to me about VAR – Rakitic not over World Cup final loss|
|Van Dijk leadership essential for Liverpool – Wijnaldum|
|Dalic: Croatia´s bench was ready to stop Spain!|
|Sublime Root century gives England imposing lead|
|Vinicius appreciates Solari influence at Real Madrid|
|Havertz would suit Bayern Munich – Kimmich|
|Wilder: Roach recruitment a sign of Fury nerves|
|Ranieri targets defensive improvements at failing Fulham|
|PSG close investigation into player recruitment practices after finding no discrimination|
|Mayweather: Nasukawa exhibition back on|
|Witsel: Joining Borussia Dortmund my best career decision|
|Ballon d´Or win would not change Modric´s ´best year´|
|Ireland v New Zealand: Opta stats behind the meeting of the world´s top two|
|The Breakdown: A statistical look at Saturday´s rugby internationals|
|Batshuayi dismisses reports of Valencia departure|
|Brazil must make Copa America final – Tite|
|Rockets rout Warriors as Green goes scoreless|
|Seahawks rally past Packers|
|Lakers G Rondo to miss 4-5 weeks|
|Durant is done with questions about Green|
|Smith, Warner set to return to IPL in 2019|
|No rivalry between Mbappe and Griezmann – Deschamps|
|Neymar: Emery will bring success to Arsenal|
|Jedvaj backs Croatia to deliver against England|
|Howell grabs first-round lead at Sea Island|
|Rooney backing Kane to break England record|
|Betts named American League MVP|
|Republic of Ireland must improve, says under-pressure O´Neill|
|Injured Sergio Ramos to leave Spain squad|
|Yelich named National League MVP|
|Low praises ´beautiful goals´ from Sane and Gnabry|
|Belgium boss Martinez pleased with patient Batshuayi|
|Wilson and Sancho pay tribute to England ´legend´ Rooney|
|Rooney gave England squad a lesson in humility - Southgate|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: LeBron passes Chamberlain, Williamson looking like he is next|
|We still have a chance - Luis Enrique not giving up hope after Spain defeat|
|Rockets ´parting ways´ with Anthony|
|Rooney became ´embarrassed´ at Manchester United|
|Federer: ´Easier´ to play when I´m up against it|
|Rooney convinced England are in safe hands with Southgate|
|Black Caps skipper Williamson confident over first Test availability|
|Federer cruises into last four of ATP Finals for 15th time|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Northern Ireland 0: Randolph saves light up bore draw|
|England 3 United States 0: Experimental side impresses on Rooney farewell|
|Croatia 3 Spain 2: Jedvaj keeps World Cup finalists in contention|
|Belgium 2 Iceland 0: Batshuayi rekindles Hazard flame with match-winning brace|
|Germany 3 Russia 0: Sane on target as Low´s men stroll|
|´Fancy taking a look at Brexit?´ - Southampton credit Austin with VAR breakthrough|
|Green: Altercation with Durant will make Warriors stronger|
|Juventus star Dybala dismisses Manchester United links|
|Strinic given all clear to return to AC Milan training|
|Papier wait over as scrum-half starts for Springboks|
|MLB commissioner Manfred gets five-year extension|
|South Africa international Du Preez joins brother at Sale|
|Pogba and Sterling support my football dream, says Bolt|
|Asensio wants to ´feel more important´ at Real Madrid|
|Former Roosters and Cowboys centre Linnett joins Hull KR|
|New team tournament ATP Cup wins Djokovic´s approval|
|Roma and Pallotta donate €150,000 to injured Liverpool fan Sean Cox|
|England captain Root reprimanded on frustrating day in Pallekele|
|Jokanovic proud of establishing Fulham´s ´footballing identity´|
|Huget to make first France appearance in a year|
|Mourinho and squad ´united´ despite ´mixed´ start, says Woodward|
|Petaia and Gordon to make Wallabies debuts in Padova|
|Barcelona star Arthur determined not to let Xavi praise go to his head|
|Youthful Netherlands have forged strong bond - Wijnaldum|
|Premier League confirms £5m package for departing chief Scudamore|
|Thiem blasts past Nishikori to keep semi-final hopes alive|
|He´s always got time for me – Gerrard loved learning from Liverpool boss Klopp|
|Kearney and Ringrose return for All Blacks clash|