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Shawcross still hopeful of England call
Published : 22 Apr 2010 10:43:00
Ryan Shawcross has not given up hope of sneaking into England's World Cup squad - but his first priority is getting back into the Stoke team. Shawcross has not played since the end of February when he was sent off after a challenge on Aaron Ramsey which left the Arsenal midfielder with a broken leg. On that very day the 22-year-old earnt his first call-up to Fabio Capello's squad for the friendly against Egypt so the timing of his absence has been bad to say the least. The big defender was first forced to serve a three-game ban and a couple of niggling injuries has seen him miss another five matches since then. And while he has been sidelined, the likes of Tottenham's Michael Dawson have caught the eye. But Shawcross, who has not played since the end of February, has now declared himself fit for Sunday's game at Chelsea and is ready to stake a late claim for a World Cup place. "The most frustrating thing is not being able to play for Stoke - I can't really think about anything else," he said. "But I also know I need to get back playing, and playing well, if I am to have any chance of getting into the England squad. "There are a lot of good players out there and some centre-backs have come back from injury and started playing well. "That has made it more difficult for me. "I would have to say my chances for England are quite slim at the moment, but I haven't given up." Shawcross also played down talk that Tuncay's strop at being substituted during last weekend's defeat to Bolton could see him marginalised by the rest of the squad. Potters boss Tony Pulis warned Tuncay he could be in for a hot reception from his team-mates after his latest act of petulance but Shawcross says the whole squad remains behind the Turkey ace. "Tuncay is a fantastic player and he has done well since he has been here," said Shawcross on Sky Sports News. "Obviously I think he knows he was wrong. "When you come off whether you have played well or played bad you need to support the team and I think he knows that. "We are fully behind him and hopefully he will put in a good performance on Sunday."