Parker targets England role

BY foxsports • February 11, 2011

Parker became the first England player to win his first four caps while with four different clubs when impressing in the second half of the friendly international with Denmark in Copenhagen. The midfielder achieved that unlikely milestone via his spells at Charlton, Chelsea, Newcastle and now West Ham. Parker had previously played for his country in October 2006 against Croatia in Zagreb, the game remembered most for goalkeeper Paul Robinson's 'air-shot' from a Gary Neville back-pass. The Hammers midfielder was selected for Fabio Capello's provisional squad before last summer's World Cup without making the final 23. But now he feels he is in the best form of his career and has adapted his game to suit the demands of international football. Parker said: "I found out I've got four caps for four different clubs. I suppose if anything I'll be in the quizzes now, won't I? "I didn't realise that until someone pointed it out after the Denmark game. "But I want to be remembered for more than a quiz question, of course I do. I want to try to progress from now. "For the last three years, I've been playing the best football that I've played in a long while. "I think experience is vital for that. You become more wise, you know where to be, what positions to take up, how to play it. "I feel I am playing the best football of my career." Parker knows he has to seize any opportunity presented to him by head coach Capello after the end of his international exile in England's 2-1 win. He said: "It has been a long while since I played for England. I suppose I'm the sort of fellow who gets his head down and keeps trying to play well. "Over the last few years I feel I've been putting in good performances for my club. I felt it was time I could be rewarded. "I got into the provisional party for the World Cup. I didn't make the World Cup squad and I've been in and out with England and never really given a chance. "I'm in a position where if I get a chance I have to take it. It's plain and simple. "It felt comfortable. I'm a bit older and wiser and I think I've gained a lot of experience in my time and I felt I did well for 45 minutes. "It is something to progress on. It is the first time I've really played under Fabio so hopefully I can keep impressing and getting in the team." Parker knows he has to hone his game to slot in with the demands of representing England. He said: "Obviously, I think people had those worries but listen, I fully back myself to play out there. "I realise I have to adapt my game a bit at international level, that the combativeness in the Premier League is a little bit different at international level. "Some of the things you can get away with there you will not get away with at international level. "I have to try to adapt my game to that and I feel that I can do that." Parker was also delighted to experience being on the winning side for the first time for his country. He said: "I remember that night in Zagreb. It was disappointing. I got to start and it was a tough place to go. I was playing out wide and Robinson air-kicked one in. "It was pleasing to get back out there with England and put that to bed and be part of a winning team."

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