Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter has been warned that he will have to earn his place on next year's team for Gleneagles, despite captain Paul McGinley seeing at first hand his starring role in the 'Miracle at Medinah'.

Poulter famously sparked the record-equalling comeback by making five birdies in a row to win his Saturday afternoon fourballs match with Rory McIlroy, telling his team-mates afterwards: "Now we have a pulse."

The Englishman went on to beat US Open champion Webb Simpson in the singles to make it four points from four matches, while he won three points from four at Celtic Manor in 2010 and four from five at Valhalla in 2008.

However, the 37-year-old has twice needed wild cards to make the team and McGinley insists FedEx Cup winner Henrik Stenson is the only player to be anywhere near being considered a 'certainty' - Stenson already has around 80 per cent of the points he is likely to need to qualify.

"Ian Poulter is a special guy and what he did last year was incredible," said McGinley, who was one of Jose Maria Olazabal's vice-captains in Chicago.

"It really was one of the most incredible achievements I have seen on a golf course. That was a monumental achievement and there is no doubt he personally pulled the team into a position to be just within touching distance. Then when he got into the locker room he said 'For the first time all week we have a pulse'. That was so poignant and right as we were on life support before that.

"I would certainly put that on a par with Liverpool's achievement in the Champions League final (in 2005), coming back from 3-0 down at half-time. For me it is better than that. It was away from home, rather than at a neutral venue.

"But I am not saying anybody is in the team. I am talking in the past and I am talking about what he has achieved until now. I can assure you that if Ian Poulter has a very poor year next year he is not going to be in the team.

"But the chances of Ian Poulter having a very poor year are slim and I am hoping that doesn't happen. I would love to have him in the team but he has to earn his stripes. He has to prove to me he is on his game and mentally and physically ready."