Candid Crouch

Tottenham and England star Peter Crouch gives Peter Fraser an exclusive insight into life at the top

Crouch: Start of a new era

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Life has never been better for Peter Crouch. Having joined Tottenham in a £9million move from Portsmouth in July 2009, the forward has helped his club into the FA Cup quarter-finals as preparations for Saturday's trip to Fulham gather pace.

Crouch has also pushed Spurs into a fight with former side Liverpool, Manchester City and Aston Villa for fourth spot in the Premier League and a subsequent place in the UEFA Champions League.

Meanwhile, at international level the striker is getting ready for England's summer World Cup squad after scoring twice to help Fabio Capello's men come from a goal down to overcome Egypt at Wembley on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old may have recently experienced the downside of squad rotation at Tottenham and he could be on the bench against Fulham, but here he exclusively tells Peter Fraser of his ambitions as his career continues to develop.

Crouch on the FA Cup: "I managed to win it at Liverpool and it was probably the highlight of my career. Quite a few of the big teams have gone out, but Fulham away is a very difficult game, we make no bones about that. If we get through that we have got a great chance of getting to the final of one of the best club competitions in the world."

Crouch on the magic of the cup: "I grew up watching the FA Cup and I loved it. I remember Wimbledon beating Liverpool in 1988, that was a massive occasion. I also remember Chelsea when they lost to Manchester Untied 4-0 in the final in 1994, I went to that game. My Dad was a massive Chelsea fan so he took me to all the games. For me the FA Cup is a great competition."

Crouch on a possible season to remember: "I am hoping it will be the start of a new era. Obviously, I have just joined Tottenham and we have got a fantastic chance of maybe trying to break into the top four and a perfect end to the season would be us making the Champions League places. We have also got a chance in the FA Cup and the World Cup with England."

Crouch on hitting the big time: "Maybe early on in my career it was difficult to see. A couple of times I wasn't straight in there and I wasn't going to play for England and play in World Cups and the Champions League. As I got older I developed as a player. Certainly around the age of 24, when I first got in the England squad and playing for Liverpool, I felt at home with top players and have not looked back really. I am really enjoying my career at the minute."

Crouch on the differences between Liverpool and Spurs: "I look around at the quality of players, having been in both dressing rooms, and I don't think there is anything to stop us achieving a fourth-place finish. I don't think there are too many players you would change with our squad. We have got fantastic ability. Liverpool probably have that slight edge on us because they have done it before. It is new to us and we need to have that winning mentality."

Crouch on his partnership with Jermain Defoe: "I have played with Jermain right the way through from Under 18s, U21s, England, Portsmouth and now at Tottenham. I know Jermain very well and he is a fantastic goalscorer. I think we complement each other well and our different styles always seem to make it work. He is a fantastic player and someone I enjoy playing with."

Crouch on competition for places at Tottenham: "Any club with aspirations to play in the Champions League needs four strikers who are of a good standard. When Robbie Keane left, we brought in Eidur Gudjohnsen. Roman Pavlyuchenko has always been a top, top player and he is just showing that now."

Rooney & Crouch to start up front against USA 3/1