Crouch defends England record

England striker Peter Crouch has hit back at his doubters after defending his record in international football.

The Tottenham striker is expected to be part of Fabio Capello's final 23-man squad for South Africa after scoring 21 goals in 38 international appearances.

Despite his healthy scoring record, Crouch's involvement in international football continues to raise eyebrows among a band of detractors.

They claim the 6ft 7in former Liverpool and Portsmouth striker only scores against lesser nations and has never performed against the top teams.

However, Crouch claims he is ready to silence a few of his doubters and spring a few surprises in South Africa.

He explained:"I think people look at how tall I am and just see me as the kind of player that can only play when the ball is in the air.

"I think my goals record at international level speaks for itself, to be honest.

"You have to back yourself – and I do believe I am good enough to play for England and do well at the World Cup. Why not? I certainly think there is a shock value when I play.

"Perhaps defenders who haven't played against me before will look at me and think that I am only a threat when I'm heading the ball.

"I'm better than that and maybe defenders will get a surprise at the World Cup when I've got the ball at my feet if I am picked.

"I think my team-mates will tell you that I am much more than an old fashioned targetman who can only play one way."

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