Crouch calls on Pompey to 'fight and scrap' to stay up

England striker says relegation-threatened side must show battling quality

Peter Crouch has called on his Portsmouth team-mates to turn around their recent run of poor form as he battles to end a drought in front of goal. Crouch has not scored for nine games and has often been asked to play a lone role in attack as Pompey have become embroiled in a fight for their top-flight future.

The 28-year-old has not hit the back of the net in the Premier League since December's 2-1 defeat at Bolton. Meanwhile, Pompey have dropped down the table. They are now just two points away from the relegation places but Crouch remains in a positive mood.

He is confident Portsmouth have the quality to avoid the drop and is looking ahead to retaining his England place for the forthcoming friendly against Slovakia and the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.

Although he is struggling to rediscover his touch in front of goal, Crouch insists there have been mitigating circumstances. "Recently it has been difficult because you have to sacrifice yourself for the team," said Crouch. "I have to defend well, I have to get back into shape and basically cut out the goals we have been conceding."

Crouch had another difficult evening against Chelsea's England captain John Terry as Portsmouth went down to a Didier Drogba goal at Fratton Park on Tuesday night.

Portsmouth squandered a number of chances but Crouch insists that they must stop waiting for their luck to turn and get back into a winning habit as soon as possible.

The club are hoping the appointment of Paul Hart as manager until the end of the season will help them to keep their top-flight status. Hart and assistant Brian Kidd have already began to rebuild confidence after the sacking of Tony Adams.

"It was difficult against Chelsea and we were unlucky," added Crouch. "We keep saying that but we have got to make sure we get ourselves back to winning ways, and with the new management team we've got in place hopefully we can do that. I feel we can push on and have a good end to the season.

"If we didn't believe we can stay up, what's the point of being there? We have got a good squad but we are in a position now where we have to fight and scrap. That is something that I certainly believe we can do and hopefully with the quality of our squad, we have got enough ability to see us through."

Despite the problems at Portsmouth, Crouch is looking forward to helping England's qualification for the 2010 World Cup finals. England lost their last friendly 2-0 to Spain last month but the striker believes they can step up to their previous form in the remaining qualifiers.

"Obviously we were disappointed with the way things went in the Spain game but generally things have gone well under the new manager," Crouch said. "We've been pleased and we are top of the group after winning all our games. Hopefully we can continue that."

Crouch was speaking after training children at a National Lottery-funded elite youth event at the Osmani Youth Centre in Tower Hamlets. Crouch added: "It's fantastic for kids to come to a place like this. It helps keep them off the streets or getting into mischief. It only takes one afternoon out of my life to come down and try to give some advice."

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home