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Sep 19, 2012

Begovic backs Crouch recall

Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic says Peter Crouch should be recalled to the England squad and believes more good times are in store at the Britannia Stadium.

• Crouch wants England recall

Stoke continue their daunting start to the 2012-13 season when they visit Chelsea on Saturday but have the confidence of knowing they have emerged unbeaten from games so far against Arsenal and Manchester City.

Begovic helped preserve a point against the champions with two outstanding saves while Crouch, who is not in Roy Hodgson's England plans after he rejected a call-up to the standby list for Euro 2012, scored his third goal in three appearances.

Competition for places is hotting up in the Potteries with Michael Owen's high-profile arrival and the keeper said: "We are trying to grow as a team and this is a good place to be. Steven N'Zonzi was fantastic on his debut and, with Owen coming in, we can look forward to a good season."

He added: "I'm surprised Crouch isn't in the England team. Obviously, I'm biased because I see him in training all week but I think he should be there.

"I see the games they (England) are playing. He's sitting at home and I wonder just why isn't he playing. It's not up to me but he doesn't seem to get the credit he deserves. He's a world-class striker.

"His goal ratio, and everything he has done for teams, just speaks for itself. We know what we have with Crouchie and that's the main thing."

Begovic was delighted with the work of the men in front of him on Saturday and knows more of the same resilience is likely to be required both at Stamford Bridge and beyond.

Stoke have four draws from four Premier League games and visit Liverpool and Manchester United for their first two matches in October.

"We kept the door closed at the back (against City)," he added. "We were really solid. Performances speak for themselves but we want to get to winning ways as soon as possible."

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