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Mar 1, 2012

Parker wants to stay skipper for Euros

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Scott Parker hopes he did enough during England's 3-2 defeat against Netherlands at Wembley on Wednesday night to retain the captaincy for Euro 2012.

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Interim England boss Stuart Pearce handed Parker the armband ahead of the likes of Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, who was favourite to succeed John Terry as skipper of the national team.

Parker made some excellent blocks and tackles in his defensive midfield role against the Dutch and after the match revealed that Gerrard was the first to congratulate him after his surprise selection as captain.

"Steve was fine. He was the ultra-professional he is," Parker said. "He was the first person to come up to me and congratulate me and said he'd support me. That was pleasing. You wouldn't expect anything else from such a great player.''

Should the Football Association appoint a permanent successor to Fabio Capello before this summer's European Championship, the new man must decide who he wants to be England captain in Poland and Ukraine.

Asked if he would like to keep the armband, Parker said: "Of course I would.

"I also understand there's a many a player - no-one more than Steven Gerrard and a couple of others - who've obviously been there before and done it.

"It's going to be difficult for me but I would obviously relish the chance to lead the country out again and take it into the Euros.

"Whether that's me or it's not me, I know I'll be fully behind whoever it may be, determined to make England succeed.''

Parker said the feeling of captaining England was second only to that he experienced when his children were born.

The 31-year-old added: "It was pretty special, really, a very proud moment for me and something as a kid I dreamed of many a time. I could probably speak for every boy and every young lad who has the same ambition.

"I never thought it would happen to me, so absolutely delighted to lead out my country. It's definitely up there, not only in my career but obviously in my personal life, probably behind the birth of my kids. My family are very proud.''

Parker's first game as skipper ultimately ended in a last-gasp 3-2 defeat after England had looked to have salvaged a 2-2 draw.

He said: "We're not sitting there thinking that with the way we performed, through maybe just sheer grit and determination and courage, that we're going to go and win a tournament.

"We understand we need to work on things, we need to get technically better. But we all need to be positive and we all need to realise that tonight gives us great hope.

"Coming back from 2-0 down is massive. It was edgy there and we proved that we can do it.''

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