Cahill thrilled with full England debut‎

Bolton defender Gary Cahill was thrilled to make his first England start against Ghana – and was pleased with his overall performance.

The 25-year-old has been one of the most in-form centre-halves in the Barclays Premier League this season and has seen his club form rewarded by regular call-ups to Fabio Capello’s squad.

Having made substitute appearances against Bulgaria and Denmark, Cahill was handed a starting berth by Capello for the first time against Ghana.

The former Aston Villa man acquitted himself well as he played the full 90 minutes, regularly stifling the Black Stars’ attack and coming close to scoring himself.

Cahill admitted the performance was tinged by the disappointment of Asamoah Gyan’s late equaliser in the 1-1 draw, but was keen to take the positives from his Wembley start.

“I’ve got two other caps, obviously in different circumstances, so it was nice to play from the off and get a full 90 minutes under my belt,” he said.

“Obviously it was a great honour and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I am obviously a little disappointed that we conceded late on.

“Knowing that you’re starting, I kind of like, because you can prepare for the game, while when you come on as a sub it is difficult to get to grips with the pace of the game.

“But like I say, I was over the moon to get the nod having watched the game from the stands on Saturday.

“You want to get yourself out there and kick the ball around and it was a great honour to get 90 minutes.”

Despite the late equaliser, Cahill was one of the stand-out performers in a second-string England side alongside the likes of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing.

The trio will have undoubtedly boosted their claims for a regular place in Capello’s side with their performances, and the defender believes the team can take positives from the draw.

“I was pleased with my performance,” he said.”During the game I thought first half we dominated and second half they got into it a little bit more and obviously we’re disappointed to concede late on.

“But I think there were a lot of positives to take out of the game and I was pleased with my overall performance.”

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside was equally pleased with Cahill’s England start, hailing his performance against the World Cup quarter-finalists.

“I’m absolutely delighted for Gary because I know how much it means to him to play for England and how proud he is to be selected for his country,” he told the club’s official website.

“He has been involved in a number of squads now and come on a substitute on a couple of occasions, so this is a great step for him.

“Gary always gives 100% for the club and country and he did that again with another accomplished performance.”

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