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Green keen to earn England recall

PUBLISHED: 16:38 20 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG ROBERT GREEN insists West Ham s first clean sheet since February can act as a springboard to get the Hammers out of trouble and catapult him back into the England reckoning. Green was axed from Fabio Capello s Three Lions squad just hou

By JONATHAN CLEGG

ROBERT GREEN insists West Ham's first clean sheet since February can act as a springboard to get the Hammers out of trouble and catapult him back into the England reckoning.

Green was axed from Fabio Capello's Three Lions squad just hours after the Italian had seen the Hammers No1 keep a clean sheet for the first time in 27 matches in last weekend's goalless draw with Portsmouth.

The 28-year-old produced a string of fine saves to keep Pompey at bay, including a hat-trick of blocks from England hitman and Upton Park boo-boy Jermain Defoe in front of the watching Capello.

But he was surprisingly overlooked by the England manager as Green paid the price for West Ham's disastrous defensive run.

Capello turned instead to Scott Carson - who has conceded 17 goals in six matches for West Brom - and even Paul Robinson appears to have vaulted Green in the pecking order after his late call-up as a replacement for Joe Hart.

Yet Green is convinced that the defensive resilience on display at Upton Park last weekend can help the Hammers climb away from the relegation zone and reignite his own international ambitions.

He said: "I've been pretty sick of people reminding us we haven't kept a clean sheet for who knows how long. It's just good to get the monkey off my back.

"It's not been the best of runs by any stretch of the imagination but it's a run we've ended now and hopefully something we can build on this and really go forwards.

"I've just got to keep driving, keep plugging away and working hard. It's the ugly side that hopefully will get you a chance [with England].

"I was in for Khazakstan. It was the first time for a long time, and if it comes along, it comes along. But I've always said it's motivation enough here to play for West Ham."

The Hammers were unable to take advantage of Green's impressive turn as Portsmouth stifled their attacking ambitions and the club's winless run now stretches to eight matches.

But the former Norwich stopper believes manager Gianfranco Zola will soon be rewarded for his commitment to entertaining football.

"The football we're playing is great," Green said. "The one-touch football and the confidence people have to play and to give each other the ball - it's that bit more confident.

"But if anybody thought it was going to work overnight, it's going to be difficult.

"You aren't going to go out and win every game, as much as everyone would love to. People go through good times, people go through bad times. The important thing is you stick together.

"We know that we've got enough quality in the squad to be a strong side in the Premier League.


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