England midfielder Scott Parker delighted to be fit for Euro 2012


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The Independent Football

Midfielder Scott Parker has revealed his joy at being fit for Euro 2012 after finally making the breakthrough into the England side in the past 18 months.

Parker had won his first four caps under four different managers before Fabio Capello gave him more involvement with the national side.

An Achilles injury threatened his chances of going to Poland and Ukraine next month, but Parker proved his fitness by playing 55 minutes of England's 1-0 win against Norway in Oslo on Saturday.

He said: "I'm glad things have cleared up a bit and I am ready to go. I have waited a long time to break into the England team, never mind go to a major tournament.

"To think I might not be there was quite disappointing but all the medical team have done a great job and I am going to go.

"The game in Norway was my first for a while and I'm pleased I've come through it. It felt good and I felt fine which was a relief."

Parker accepts the expectation levels are lower in terms of what England can achieve this summer, but insists that does not equate to less pressure to perform among the players.

He said: "I don't feel there is less pressure on the team. There is probably a little bit less expectation but, at the same time, when you are at a tournament you want to do well.

"We are England and we put pressure on ourselves as players as much as from the outside. We are hoping we are going to do well and we will do our best."

Parker's relief at being available for the Euro finals is in stark contrast to the disappointment he felt a week ago on Tottenham missing out on a Champions League spot.

Chelsea's dramatic win over Bayern Munich means Harry Redknapp's side will have to be content with Europa League football next season.

Parker said: "I was away on a family holiday in Dubai and watched the final on my laptop. To be honest I was disappointed.

"We worked so hard to get to fourth position and obviously to lose it (the Champions League spot) at that late stage was disappointing."

Parker admits the players are adapting to the ideas and demands of new England head coach Roy Hodgson.

He said: "It is a different manager with different ideas. You have to adapt as players as quick as possible.

"We are all playing at different clubs and have different styles of play and he has set us up and told us how to play.

"It is about being tactically aware and disciplined as a team which you have to be at international level.

"It is very clear what the manager wants and he can get that across very, very well so that is clear."