Peter Crouch has hailed Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp for "getting the best out of me" as he looks to clinch a place in England's World Cup squad.
Crouch capped a fine season by scoring the goal against Manchester City which ensured Spurs will be playing in the Champions League next season - an experience he enjoyed previously with Liverpool, but he is quick to pay tribute to the contribution of Redknapp to his development into a player who has netted 20 goals in 37 internationals for his country.
He said: "Harry has got the best out of me at Spurs. I believe that. I also played for him at Portsmouth and for a very short spell at Southampton. Whenever I've played for him, I've always played well. He does get the best out of footballers."
He added: "He's proved that with the whole team this season by finishing fourth in the Premier League and having a fantastic season. For me personally, I know he's going to get the best out of me.
"What is it about him that does that? I just feel that if I've played really well he'll tell me I'm a world-beater who can do anything. It gives you a boost. He believes in me and I know that he believes in me.
"On the flip-side of the coin if I've been rubbish, he'll tell me that as well. It works both ways. He's an honest fellow and, certainly when he's dealing with me, he's always seemed to get the best out of me."
Crouch concedes that there is a more serious and focused approach from head coach Fabio Capello, his backroom staff and the squad than past England regimes.
And the former Aston Villa striker has immense respect for Capello's tactical nous and awareness.
He said: "We're just working hard as we would do under the previous management. There was probably a lot more free time [in the past]. Sven (Goran-Eriksson) was a lot more laid-back. Everyone was saying that. This time the atmosphere seems a lot more serious, a lot more focused.
"Equally, we've always done tactical work but this manager is probably the most tactical I have worked for."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms