Peter Crouch content to make an impact

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The Independent Football

Peter Crouch had no complaints about playing second fiddle to Andy Carroll in England's 2-1 friendly defeat against France after showing the debutant the way to goal barely a minute after coming off the bench.

Newcastle striker Carroll impressed on what was his senior international bow but was unable to mark the occasion by finding the net.

Crouch, on the other hand, improved his hugely impressive record for England to 22 goals in 42 games after replacing the youngster late on.

Tottenham forward Crouch said: "The manager was looking at other things and obviously knows what I can do.

"I've been around the set-up for a while now.

"Pleasing to make the impact; obviously just disappointed with the result.

"I thought France in the first half played some great stuff to be honest and we had a little bit of a comeback at the end.

"Maybe if the game had gone on a little bit more, we'd have had a different result."

Crouch reckons his 86th-minute goal, a hooked far-post volley from Ashley Young's corner, was just his second touch following his introduction.

He added: "It was quite quick to get the goal and obviously I'm very pleased.

"When you're on the bench, you hope for a chance and hope you can make an impact when that comes and, thankfully, I did that."

Captain Rio Ferdinand admitted England's fans were right to boo the side off after the game.

An experimental team including Carroll and fellow debutant Jordan Henderson were second best at Wembley virtually from start to finish and the sell-out crowd voiced their displeasure both at half-time and full-time.

Ferdinand, who was substituted at half-time as a precaution, said: "We didn't really put on a good show for the fans.

"They voiced their opinions and you have to deal with that."

The crowd did, however, give a warm reception to Carroll, whose performance was one of few bright points.

Ferdinand said: "When young lads come into the team, it's great that the fans get behind them and they did."

Manchester United defender Ferdinand accepted England have a lot of work to do to integrate the next generation of internationals into the team.

"Much to improve, I think," he said.

"We have to realise that we had quite an inexperienced team out there: two debutants, one player with one of his first two or three caps thrown in there.

"They're really the only positives I really take out of the game.

"Andy Carroll - with what service he did get - I thought he did well.

"Henderson, it was a great experience for him to be out there and playing in front of 90,000 at Wembley and Kieran Gibbs I thought had a good game."

He added: "We've got some young players that are in and around the squad and on the fringes.

"It's down to the manager how he integrates them into the team and hopefully we can get rid of all the injuries we've had over the last couple of months, get them fit and integrate the young lads with some experience in that side."