Crouch sets sights on World Cup
Peter Crouch was disappointed to be snubbed for Euro 2012 but is already targeting a place in the England squad for the 2014 World Cup.
Last Updated: 14/07/12 10:53am
Peter Crouch has admitted his disappointment at being snubbed by England boss Roy Hodgson for Euro 2012 but is already targeting winning back a place in the squad for the 2014 World Cup.
The Stoke striker has revealed he was contacted by Hodgson the evening before the squad for Poland and Ukraine was announced and told he had been left out in favour of Andy Carroll, despite Crouch scoring six more Premier League goals than his Liverpool rival that season.
Crouch admits he was "gutted" to be omitted by the new boss after being continually overlooked by former manager Fabio Capello, even though he boasts a record of 22 goals in 42 international games.
The towering frontman has not played for his country since the friendly against France back in November 2010, when he scored in a 2-1 defeat.
But Crouch, who will be 33 years old when the World Cup in Brazil rolls around in two years' time, has not given up on donning the England jersey again.
The striker 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."
He added: "It was documented that Capello never came to the Britannia Stadium so it's difficult to pick players who you haven't seen play. For one reason or another he never came to the ground but this season if I'm playing well enough it [the World Cup] is still a target.
"I feel as fit as I've ever been. Of course you've got to be playing well but I will never turn down playing for my country. If the opportunity arises then obviously I'd grasp it.
"Yes, I was gutted but you've just got to move on. It was the manager's decision and I have to take it on my chin and move on. I've had a nice break and I'm ready for the Premier League."
Despite his personal Euro 2012 disappointment, Crouch was impressed by England's efforts in Poland and Ukraine - though admits it was familiarly heartbreaking to exit on penalties.
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?"