Crouch targets England recall

PA Sport
Peter Crouch
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Peter Crouch

Peter Crouch is hoping Fabio Capello's resignation will open the door for him to return to the England squad.

The Stoke striker's last game for the national team came in a friendly defeat by France in November 2010, with Crouch then finding himself out of favour. But Capello's decision to resign could be good news for Crouch, especially if Harry Redknapp, the 31-year-old's manager at Portsmouth and Tottenham and favourite for the job, does succeed the Italian.

"I've not been in the last few squads," Crouch said. "Whoever takes over hopefully will start picking me again but it's only what you do for your club that warrants getting in the England set-up again so I've got to play well for Stoke, score goals and hopefully that will come."

Crouch will hope to end a six-game streak without scoring when Stoke face Valencia on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.

The Potters have exceeded expectations in the competition, coming through a group containing Dynamo Kiev, Besiktas and Maccabi Tel Aviv, but boss Tony Pulis has hit out at the scheduling that sees them face Crawley in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday lunchtime.

The Welshman said: "It's a massive ask for us. We're desperately keen to do well in both cup competitions so to have two massive games put so close together, you need sometimes a little bit of help from the people above and I don't think we've got any help whatsoever.

"We've treated both competitions in the right spirit and you need a little bit of help back. To put us on Sunday morning, to travel all the way down to Crawley after playing Valencia Thursday night, I'm very disappointed with the way that's worked out.

"Maybe people have to look at it and say, for clubs who do approach it in the right way and want to put their strongest teams out, let's try to help them a little bit, otherwise you get situations where teams just don't play their best teams because their priorities are elsewhere.

"The Premier League is the goose that's laying the golden egg and if the cup competitions want to be held in higher esteem then put them in slots where you have time to prepare for them, to pick your best team and move on to the next game without any worries."

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