Crouch hopes for England nod

01 June 2009 02:49
Peter Crouch believes his goal against Ukraine in England's last World Cup qualifier could earn him a start at the weekend against Kazakhstan. The Portsmouth striker has often been overlooked by Fabio Capello in favour of Emile Heskey, but the Aston Villa man's absence against Ukraine opened the door for Crouch - who impressed in scoring England's first goal. Heskey is fit again now and in contention for Saturday and while Crouch is taking nothing for granted, he is hopeful of getting the nod to start. "Hopefully I've given the manager food for thought and hopefully he'll bear me in mind when the team's selected," said Crouch. "Everyone wants to start games but it's not always the case. The way we play is with one main striker up front and that's been Emile Heskey. "I got my chance because of the injuries but I felt like I did well enough." Bidding to start England are expected to collect six points from Saturday's match and next week's meeting with Andorra, which would put them within touching distance of South Africa. Crouch insists the players are not jaded after a long season but warned of the danger of underestimating the opposition. "We're feeling fresh, we knew at the start of the season we'd have these two games and we're mentally prepared," he continued. "They are games we are expected to win. If we get these six points I think we only need three to make absolutely certain, so it's a great position. "But there is the potential to slip up, especially going to play somewhere you haven't been before, so we have to do a professional job. He added: "They are a decent side, they play the right way and have got some talented players. "It is a game we are totally expected to win but we have got to be cautious and do the right things to make sure we get the right result. Feeling fresh "I can't say I've ever been to Kazakhstan on holiday. It is something different, something new and exciting and we have got to make sure we are professional about it. "We don't know what the pitch is like or the conditions, it is completely unknown. "It is something we have to make sure we get right. That is why we are going out there early to try to get the time difference right and make sure we are ready come kick-off on Saturday. "We don't want to take our foot off the gas to make sure we qualify for South Africa as soon as possible."

Source: SKY_Sports