Crouch holding on to England hopes
Published : 17 Sep 2012 08:17:26
Peter Crouch has vowed to "grab with both hands" any opportunity to resurrect his England career.
The 31-year-old Stoke striker has scored 22 goals in 42 international appearances but not played for his country in almost two years and was overlooked for a recall by new manager Roy Hodgson this month.
Crouch fell out of favour under previous boss Fabio Capello and appeared to have alienated Hodgson by - according to the England manager - declining a standby squad place for Euro 2012. The former Liverpool and Tottenham forward said: "If I get a chance to play for my country again I'll grab it with both hands."
Injuries offered a potential route to return for the recent World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine but Hodgson chose to ignore his claims. Despite that snub Crouch has no intention of quitting international football.
Crouch added: "I'm not too concerned with it, I'll just keep on playing as well as I can for Stoke and if the call comes that would be fantastic."
Crouch admits he was frustrated not to have made Hodgson's initial selection for the summer tournament, although his interpretation of 'standby' was slightly different to the manager's.
He said: "Obviously I was disappointed to be left out of the squad for the Euros. I didn't have the opportunity to go. I was a bit frustrated but of course playing for my country is the best thing I've ever done in my career and I will never rule that out.
"I will always play as well as I can here and hopefully get the call. It wasn't a case of being a standby, I think he wanted me to play in one of the friendlies and then go home. I'll be honest, I was disappointed not to be called up to the full squad. We had a conversation but I think that should remain between me and the manager."
Crouch performed consistently well for the Potters last season, scoring 14 goals in all competitions and was again on the scoresheet in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Manchester City. Yet unlike his stunning volley in the corresponding Barclays Premier League fixture last season, Crouch benefited from a huge stroke of fortune as his use of the hand in controlling the ball went unpunished.
Crouch said: "There was a slight suspicion of handball but they go for you sometimes and obviously that one did. There will be times when we're frustrated and concede goals when there's been an error. It's one of those things. You play to the whistle and I did that. I don't think it was anyone's fault. It's hit my hand and thankfully it's gone for us."