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."
|He´s one of the best – Simeone showers Oblak with praise|
|Juventus won´t sell in-demand Pjaca, agent claims|
|Bolasie in line for Everton return after long-term injury|
|Bedene to switch back from Britain to Slovenia|
|Maradona told Real Madrid to sign Mbappe|
|Samuels out of NZ tour, Narine to miss T20s|
|Sydney FC 3 Melbourne City 1: Champions come from behind to go eight points clear|
|Red-hot Salah wins Player of the Month|
|Heynckes unaware of reported Sanches loan termination|
|Maradona: I´d have won more Ballons d´Or than Ronaldo and Messi|
|Khawaja pleased to restore parity in Perth|
|Bairstow enjoys playful celebration of crucial century|
|The Ashes Round-up: Smith leading by example again|
|Wenger confirms Wilshere contract talks imminent|
|Sensational Smith leads Australia fightback|
|We´ve never been approached by Man United – Wenger rejects Ozil reports|
|Joshua ´absolutely´ capable of unification, says Klitschko|
|Mathews fit for India-Sri Lanka series decider|
|Lewandowski demands focus ahead of Christmas|
|Fury not rushing back to take on Joshua|
|Klopp right to rotate at Liverpool – Neville|
|Overton strikes twice for England in Perth|
|LeBron´s 59th triple-double leads Cavaliers past Lakers|
|Jets offensive coordinator admits surrender in blowout loss to Broncos|
|Osweiler helps Broncos past Colts|
|England collapse to be all out for 403 in Perth|
|Donnarumma plays down Milan exit rumours|
|Barkley could leave in January – Allardyce|
|Siemian suffers shoulder injury, Osweiler in for Broncos|
|Pulisic voted youngest-ever male USA player of the year|
|Griezmann will be allowed to leave – Simeone|
|Steelers LB Shazier has begun rehabilitation process|
|Guardiola appears to aim another dig at Mourinho|
|Vardy relishing Fleetwood return|
|Pau stay perfect with win over Agen|
|USB joking? Klitschko stick and robe sold for mega money|
|Almiron blocked from becoming Las Palmas coach|
|Ligue 1 adopts VAR from next season|
|Calabria extends AC Milan contract|
|Everton give new deals to Calvert-Lewin, Holgate & Kenny|
|Gooch backs Cook to rediscover England form|
|Itoje could return before Six Nations|
|Under-fire Hughes promises results will come for Stoke|
|Mourinho asked to explain pre-Manchester derby comments|
|Stoger sets Dortmund end of year target|
|Dyche: No swaggering from high-flying Burnley|
|Watzke plays down Nagelsmann rumour as Dortmund plan for 2018|
|Guardiola´s record runs with Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona compared|
|Martin lashes out at ´double standards´ in Froome ´scandal´|
|Day two crucial for England´s Ashes chances - Gooch|
|Benteke goal drought a concern for Hodgson|
|Nibali to skip 2018 Giro to focus on Tour|
|City look frightening – Rose|
|Kahn regrets rejecting Manchester United|
|Ireland scrum-half Marmion commits to Connacht|
|Giants president Mara wants Manning back for 2018|
|Malan pleased to silence the doubters with maiden century|
|No Australia involvement in fixing allegations - Paine|
|Bayern wrapping up Ribery for Christmas|
|Wilshere no closer to signing fresh Arsenal contract|
|Resurgent Rooney has Europe´s best shot-conversion record|
|Froome fears salbutamol stigma for asthma sufferers|
|Pastore bullish over PSG chances against Madrid|
|Paine calls on Australia to trigger England collapse|
|Independiente boss overjoyed by ´dream´ Copa Sudamericana success|
|Malan ´over the moon´ with first Test century|
|Silva is an animal - Guardiola|
|The Ashes Round-up: Malan´s maiden hundred steals the show|
|Malan and Bairstow shine as England prosper in Perth|
|Hewitt to come out of retirement at Australian Open|