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In-form Crouch aiming for England recall

Peter Crouch has vowed to channel all his efforts into prolonging his hot scoring streak as he waits to learn whether he has done enough to earn an England recall.

The Stoke City striker is the man in form following five goals in his last five matches, including the two against Swansea on Saturday that gave his club their first victory of the season.

Chants of ‘Crouchie for England’ echoed round the Britannia Stadium but the man himself is not taking anything for granted before Roy Hodgson names his squad on Thursday for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Poland and San Marino.

"Playing for my country is the best thing I have ever done but, at the moment, I just have to keep my head down and play well,” he said. “If that call comes, great. I’m playing and scoring goals, and enjoying it."

Crouch has not played international football for two years and revealed recently he had declined the opportunity to join the squad for a pre-Euros friendly in the spring. He now has to wait whether to see whether the slate has been wiped clean or whether he again misses out to the likes of Jermain Defoe, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - the latter being the son of the last Stoke player to win a full England cap.

Crouch’s success at club level is not such good news, though, for Michael Owen. The post-deadline day capture remained on the bench on Saturday when Crouch was taken off near the end, with Kenwyne Jones going on instead.

Owen seems certain to be among the substitutes again when Stoke travel to Liverpool on Sunday for a fixture that stands out hugely on his personal calendar - that is also the case for another former Liverpool striker.

"I always like playing against Liverpool," Crouch added. "Anfield is a special place and I had some great years there. “I’m really looking forward to going back."

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