Parker: We're in it to win it

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England's Scott Parker is delighted to have finally overcome his injury troubles ahead of next month's European Championships.

The Tottenham midfielder was a major doubt ahead of the tournament, with the 31-year old struggling to shake off a niggling Achilles injury that ruled him out of Spurs' end of season run-in.

But Parker has allayed those fearing that he would be forced to watch from the sidelines, after coming through 56 minutes of England's recent friendly international win over Norway in Oslo.

And the former West Ham man, who joined from London rivals Spurs for £5.5million in August 2011, has revealed he feared the worst, with the prospect of suffering international heartache hard to take.

However, by carefullly managing his injury, Parker has given himself the best possible chance to be fighting fit as England's opening Euro 2012 match against France draws ever nearer.

Speaking to The Sun, Parker said: "I can't lie, I was extremely concerned I was going to miss out. I didn't play in the last four Tottenham games, I was having injections and the injury was taking time to respond.

"But perhaps my luck was changing because it eventually started to get better and I felt my chances of being selected were increasing if I was fit enough to play.

"The injury is fine and being treated by the England medical team. The biggest challenge is regaining full match fitness.

"I played against Norway and I'm getting stronger and have 10 days of training to get me in shape, so fingers crossed I'll be fully fit when the tournament gets underway."

Until recently, Parker's opportunities at international level have been few and far between, with an England career that can at best be described as stop-start.

But, after being overlooked by Fabio Capello for World Cup 2010, the combative midfielder has gone from strength-to-strength, establishing himself as a key member in the heart of England's midfield.

And Parker has praised the influence of the newly-appointed England manager Roy Hodgson, admitting that life under the new boss has given everyone in the camp a lift.

He added: "To be honest, the previous manager struggled to get his point across because of the language barrier.

"Fabio Capello was a bit distant whereas Roy Hodgson is very proactive and interacts with the players.

"He's extremely well organised and you have a far better understanding of what he requires from you. He's an old-fashioned type of manager, the type you know is very approachable and hands-on."

With England having consistently failed to live up to the hype in major international tournaments, many consider the Three Lions to be long-shots for Euro success in Ukraine and Poland this summer.

However, Parker insists that England have as good a chance as anybody, with the current squad willing to do all they can to buck the recent trend of disappointment, providing the nation with a team to be proud of.

"As a player I'm not going to the European Championship with the mindset it's all right if we perform reasonably well. And I'm quite sure I can say the same for the other players - we are going to the tournament to try and win it.

"I will be 33 when the World Cup comes around and this may be my first and only chance of winning something with England."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Scott Parker
Premier League

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