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Crouch eyes World Cup place

Peter Crouch has revealed his disappointment at being overlooked by Roy Hodgson for England’s Euro 2012 squad.

Crouch was one of the surprising absentees from Hodgson’s England squad for a competitive tournament, with the former Fulham boss opting for Liverpool target-man Andy Carroll instead.

The Stoke City striker scored six more times than Carroll last season, including a stunning volley against Premier League champions Manchester City, but it was not enough to convince the new England manager.

Crouch admits that he was ‘gutted’ after being told by Hodgson over the phone that he would not be making the squad and reportedly even turned down an opportunity to go on the standby list.

Crouch insists the snub will drive him on to bigger and better things next season as he hopes to muscle his way into Hodgson’s reckoning despite the fact he will turn 33 by the time the next World Cup begins in Brazil.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “To play for your country in major tournaments is the pinnacle and I was desperate to play in another Euros so I was gutted to miss out.

“My goalscoring record stands up against anybody else and that made it even more frustrating. It’s a record I’m very proud of and whenever I’ve been selected for England I feel like I’ve done well.

“The manager rang me the day before the squad was announced and said it was a toss-up between me and Andy Carroll and obviously he went with Carroll.

“He was looking for one target man and out of the two of us he went with Andy. It was one of those things and I’ve got to focus now on the next World Cup.”

Crouch watched on as England went out on penalties to Italy in the quarter-finals of the Euros, but despite the negativity surrounding the defeat, the former Spurs striker believes that Hodgson deserves credit for his team’s performance.

He said: “I thought England did well. Nobody was expecting anything going into the tournament because we didn’t have a manager until a couple of weeks before. Considering all those factors I thought they did OK and there wasn’t any disgrace at all.

“I’m an England fan and always want them to do well, whether I’m involved or not. But it had to be penalties that knocked us out, didn’t it?”

Sat 14 Jul, 2012
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