sport

Crouch dreaming of England

Peter Crouch has revealed he would 'jump at the chance' of playing in a third World Cup finals for England.

The Stoke City striker, who has scored an impressive 22 goals in 42 games for the Three Lions, has not been selected for the national side since November 2010.

Despite the likes of Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Rickie Lambert and Jermain Defoe all being preferred to the 6ft 7in centre-forward, Crouch still believes he can do a job if called upon.

"I think as soon as the new manager (Roy Hodgson) came in I wasn't part of the plans and that's been the case throughout," the 32-year-old told The Guardian.

"There's a lot of good young players out there now, so hopefully they can carry the fight

"As for my personal ambitions, I always loved playing for England and always felt I did well. So I'd never say I'm retired, because if called upon I'd jump at the chance but I can't see that happening."

The former QPR, Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool and Tottenham player admits he is enjoying life under manager Mark Hughes at the Potters.

Crouch, who joined the club in a 10 million deal from Spurs in 2011, found life difficult under former boss Tony Pulis, but now feels he is blossoming in his role up front since Hughes took over in the summer, having hit the back of the net five times this season.

"Now I've got a little bit more support (up front) than I had under the previous manager, I think that's fair to say," Crouch said.

"The way we played away from home, it was me up top on my own and then five midfielders and four defenders. It was like: 'Get on with it.' So that was frustrating at times and hard. You had to sacrifice yourself for the team, which was understandable.

"Certainly now the manager wants to be a bit more expansive, he wants to try to go and win, away from home as well, so I'm getting a bit more joy, I think."