Houghton will not give up hope of roaring again with the Lionesses
Manchester City star Steph Houghton has lifted the lid on her England exile.
Houghton, 34, has been capped 121 times but has not played for the Lionesses since 2021 due to injury problems.
With those issues firmly behind her, the defender is determined to force her way into Sarina Wiegman's plans for this summer's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
But she admits it has not been easy to watch from home as the side she skippered for eight years has gone from strength to strength.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Houghton said: "I'm back to where I want to be and I'm pushing for England. But it's been difficult.
"It's frustrating from a personal view and that won't stop me wanting the girls to do well. But I still want to keep knocking on the door.
"Anything can happen so I just need to make sure I stay professional and I'm ready.
"If that moment doesn't come over the summer, I think I need to re-evaluate everything I've done over the last year, because it has been mentally tough."
Having led England to glory at Euro 2022, Wiegman is hotly tipped to guide the Lionesses to more success at the World Cup.
And Houghton, who is relishing City's Women's Super League title push, realises it will not be easy to break back into a side unbeaten in 30 games under the Dutch coach.
She added: "I just want closure on the situation. Have I got a chance or is it not possible?
"I understand she can't provide that closure because there's a World Cup coming up and you've got to have as many players available.
"I respect what Sarina has done for the country and I'm proud of all the girls and what they've achieved.
"But you want to be playing in the best teams and tournaments — and the World Cup is certainly that."
Having beaten Brazil on penalties last week to win Finalissima at Wembley, the Lionesses tackle Australia on Tuesday to bring the curtain down on the latest international break.