Pulis - Crouch can offer England plenty

PA Sport

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has backed Peter Crouch to return to the England set-up even though the striker was not named in Roy Hodgson's latest squad.

The 31-year-old made his last appearance in an England shirt in November 2010 in a friendly against France but has since been left out in the cold despite, according to Pulis, being on "fire" this season.

"I spoke to Peter about it (not getting an England call-up) and said the best thing Peter can do is keep doing what he is doing," Pulis said.

Hodgson did include uncapped Stoke centre-back Ryan Shawcross in his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland in place of John Terry, who retired from international football last month.

While Pulis is pleased the 25-year-old Potters defender is getting the recognition he thinks he deserves, the Stoke boss was frustrated about Crouch's continued absence from the England set-up, especially after he underlined his credentials by scoring both goals in the 2-0 win over Swansea last weekend.

Pulis added: "He's played exceptionally well last year and he's started this season on fire. He's been our best player probably over the games we have played and his goal tally is very, very good and we're very pleased with him.

"We've been a bit disappointed that one or two [Stoke players] over the last two years haven't got that reputation.

"With Matthew Etherington, I thought at one stage he should have been playing for England, or Ryan, and we're disappointed that Peter has not been selected.

"But, having said that, the lads are experienced enough and they're at a good football club that will look after them and supporters that idolise them in lots of respects. We're really delighted for Ryan as an individual. He's a fantastic footballer. He's been brilliant since he's come to this football club.

"We're absolutely delighted as a city, as football club from the chairman right through to the youngest lad in the academy. He's a role model not just on but also off the pitch and we're delighted he's got the recognition."

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