Beattie ready to grab chance
By Adam Marshall. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Everton striker James Beattie says he will grab any England opportunity with both hands if afforded a call-up from Sven Goran Eriksson.
The Toffees forward is devastated by Wayne Rooney's injury but still has hopes that the Manchester United star can take his place in the World Cup squad.
If Rooney's problems open the door to another front man, Beattie is desperate to add to his five caps and would obviously love the chance to wear the white shirt in Germany.
"It's a sad situation we're in, isn't it?" he said at the launch of a new Puma boot. "With Wayne and Michael [Owen].
"But things happen like that. I don't think you can start blaming boots or anything like that. It's not a soft game, it's a hard game, as you know, and it's just unfortunate that it's happened.
"I'm devastated. Wayne's such an important player for England, as is Michael. We were disappointed when we heard. I've seen the footage afterwards and he looks in tremendous pain, and he's not a player who would stay down lightly.
"I don't know [about a call-up]," he told Sky Sports News. "I think it'd be absolutely fantastic if I got the nod or whatever. All I can do is play the last game [of the season] and hopefully Wayne will make a miraculous recovery and go to the World Cup.
"I haven't had any contact yet," he said of England's officials. "I'm always hopeful and just try and get on with playing football for Everton.
"If a chance arises, I'll snap it up with both hands.
"We went through a tremendous run over Christmas and the gaffer really wants us to get in the top ten. The lads want to do it as well after last season. We've got West Brom at home, unfortunately they went down last week, but we'll be going all out to try and get three points.
"To get into the top ten, after where we were in November, would be a tremendous achievement."
Beattie is looking forward to impressing the next England coach if he does not force his way into Eriksson's plans for Germany.
"It's another interesting situation," he said. "I'm sure whoever The FA get in, I'm sure it'll be the right man for the job. Everybody starts with a clean slate when a new manager comes in. Hopefully, I can stake my claim.
"Looking from the outside in, it's good television. Hopefully, we can get the right man.
"I've got five caps and I'm desperate to add to them and obviously score a goal, which would be nice. I think I performed quite well when I played, I just didn't score. I was close on a couple of occasions but just didn't finish it off.
"Wayne's got a World Cup really riding on his shoulders," he commented. "He's the most important player for us and can turn a game on its head instantly.
"We'll keep our fingers crossed for him that he can get better."