Stoke City: Peter Crouch gives Ryan Shawcross England backing ahead of World Cup qualifiers
PETER Crouch says Ryan Shawcross will do his country proud if he gets his chance in England's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.
Crouch was overlooked by England manager Roy Hodgson, but swallowed his own disappointment to reveal his delight for his Stoke team-mate.
In fact, the striker was one of the first to congratulate Shawcross when he was included in Hodgson's 23-man squad for the San Marino game at Wembley on Friday, and the away match in Poland next Tuesday.
Shawcross trained with the England squad at St George's Park at Burton yesterday, and also met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they officially opened the new £105m national football centre.
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Now Crouch, pictured below, is hoping Shawcross will get on the pitch to become the first Stoke player to win an England cap since Mark Chamberlain in 1984.
He said: "Everyone here is buzzing for Ryan. People have been talking about him for England for a number of years now; he has been so consistent.
"He and Robert Huth at the back have been first class for us and I think it was only a matter of time before Ryan got in there.
"Hopefully he will get a chance because if he does he won't let anyone down.
"I have played with him for a couple of seasons now, and he has all the attributes to be a top defender.
"He is strong, good in the air, reads the game well and his distribution is good.
"You only have to look over the past couple of seasons and the way we have kept clean sheets and been difficult to beat. That is testament to the defence.
"I know we all work hard as a team defensively, but Ryan and Huthy are the stand-out defenders."
Crouch says the 25-year-old centre-half is respected throughout the club.
He said: "He is our captain and with that comes responsibility. There are a few big names at the club now, but it was never in doubt that he would remain as skipper. And we are very pleased our captain is in the international squad."
Crouch has been left out of the England squad in favour of Andy Carroll, even though the Stoke striker has the better goals record this term.
The 31-year-old has scored five goals in eight Stoke games, compared to 23-year-old Carroll's no goals in five for West Ham.
The Stoke striker has also scored 22 goals in 42 games for his country, but remains philosophical about his absence from the England squad.
He added: "I will just enjoy playing for Stoke. I am loving it at the minute.
"I will continue to do as well as I can for Stoke, and if anything else happens then great."