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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 17, 2008

Capello has words of encouragement for Crouch

England boss Fabio Capello has declared himself pleased with Peter Crouch's summer move to Portsmouth despite opting for Emile Heskey as his target man for this week's clash against Czech Republic.

Crouch's impact at Liverpool was limited to five Premier League goals last season and his £9million transfer to Fratton Park is expected to offer regular first-team football, although Capello will look at Heskey at Wembley on Wednesday instead.

However, Capello said: 'I'm happy for Crouch because now he can play more games. It's very important for him because it's better.

'If a player plays only one game a month it's not enough. You lose the confidence. This is very important for everything.'

Capello included Heskey in his first England squad for the clash against Switzerland in February, but the Wigan forward picked up a back injury ahead of the friendly and this is his first recall since.

West Ham striker Dean Ashton was in contention for selection before pulling up against Wigan on the opening day of the season, just after he had scored twice at Upton Park.

Capello told Ashton he needed to lose weight over the summer and the Italian was impressed with the results.

'I saw him in pre-season against Villarreal and he was fit enough,' Capello said.

Elsewhere in his squad to face the Czechs, Capello has recalled Michael Carrick following last season's exploits with Manchester United.

'I never close the door to anyone. I know him very well, saw lots of his games last season and he is a very good player,' Capello said.

Carrick felt he showed the form of his career in the defensive-midfielder role during United's double-winning campaign.

'I have never played better,' he said. 'You have to judge it on the size of the games you are playing. And last season we were going for everything and every game was such a big game - so the fact I managed to perform to my best was very satisfying.

'But you can't rest on that, you want to improve and get better. Me personally, I want to keep improving, be successful and win more things.'

Capello is set to name his permanent captain this week, and other issues left to resolve include which position is most effective for Wayne Rooney, as an out-and-out forward or support striker.

'I think Rooney can be both, it's possible to play like a second forward and score goals,' Capello said. 'He played very well in two games - he didn't score but I was very happy with the performance.'

Goalkeeper Paul Robinson was included following his move to Blackburn, with Manchester City youngster Joe Hart keeping his place after making his debut against Trinidad and Tobago during the summer.

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