Crouch: I am Capello's last resort but I'll keep trying

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The Independent Football

Peter Crouch admitted that he is Fabio Capello's "last resort" after the Tottenham striker was again overlooked by the England manager on Wednesday night only to come on to score the 22nd goal of his international career with his first touch.

Crouch's goal record has come in 42 caps of which only 19 have been starts and his goals-to-minutes-on-the-pitch ratio is now down to one every 99 minutes he plays. That compares favourably with Wayne Rooney (193 minutes) and Jermain Defoe (122 minutes), however he remains the striker whom Capello seems least willing to pick.

Having had to wait for an injury to Steven Gerrard with five minutes left – and having seen the Cardiff City striker Jay Bothroyd introduced before him – Crouch scored at the back post from Ashley Young's corner. The goal takes him to 15th place in the all-time England goalscorers' list above Kevin Keegan and within two goals of Sir Geoff Hurst.

Crouch said: "I always seem to be the last resort but when called upon I'll try to do as well as I can. I did well against France, was disappointed with the result but from my point of view I can only do what I can. He [Capello] hasn't spoken to me about it. I've said that the manager's decisions are his decisions. All I can do is, when given minutes on the pitch, try to make an impact. Hopefully I've done that and given him something to think about.

"Of course not [give up on England]. I've had some fantastic times with England. I've been in and around it now for five years and enjoyed every minute of it. Whenever I've been called up I don't think I've ever let anyone down and I'll continue to do that."

Nine years after the original plans were drawn up, the FA board yesterday voted through the £105m budget for the National Football Centre at Burton. Building work is projected to be finished by the summer of 2012 on the St George's Park complex which will be a centre for educating coaches and sports medicine as well as a base for all England teams in their pre-match preparations.

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