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Influential Parker retains his England ambitions

PUBLISHED: 17:13 23 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG SCOTT PARKER is hoping that his consistent performances for West Ham can earn him an England recall after admitting he has not given up hope of forcing his way into Fabio Capello s Three Lions squad. The Hammers midfielder has not featur

By JONATHAN CLEGG

SCOTT PARKER is hoping that his consistent performances for West Ham can earn him an England recall after admitting he has not given up hope of forcing his way into Fabio Capello's Three Lions squad.

The Hammers midfielder has not featured for the national team since being handed a starting role for the infamous defeat in Croatia two years ago during Steve McClaren's ill-fated attempt to lead England to Euro 2008.

But Parker has finally overcome the injury problems that have hindered his international ambitions and believes he is close to regaining the form that earned him a £10m move to Chelsea in 2004.

Now the 28-year-old is hoping to catch the eye of England coach Capello, who has already elevated Hammers team-mates Matthew Upson and Robert Green to the national team set-up.

Upson deputised for the injured John Terry in this month's World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus while goalkeeper Green watched from the bench.

Parker was one of the few first-team regulars forced to remain at Chadwell Heath during the international break and the time at the training ground has focused his mind on winning an England recall.

He said: "I haven't been thinking 'if only' about England. It's such a fine line. All I can do is play well for West Ham and that's my priority. I have to stay fit as well and if I can do that then hopefully it will happen for me.

"It's been a bit of a stop-start season with the international breaks but it's been good for us having the new manager and he has been hands-on with the players that are here.

"There were about 10 or 12 of us left over so we got some fitness work in as well."

The extra sessions with Gianfranco Zola have given Parker an extended look at the new Hammers boss in action on the training field and he is impressed by the Italian's style of coaching.

Zola has emphasised the importance of helping individual players improve and Parker is optimistic that the Italian's tutelage will also help him develop into a regular member of the England squad.

"He was a fantastic player and that has helped massively," Parker said.

"We've got a young squad and to have a manager who was such a great player not that long ago helps, especially as so many people remember him or even played against him.

"He was always going to command respect as a manager, whether or not he was a great player, but because he was, he has got that respect.

"From the ideas I've seen and the training, you can tell he is definitely going to improve players.

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