Scott Parker: I never gave up hope of making an impact with England
England fans' Player of the Year Scott Parker insists he always felt that he could make an impact at international level
Scott Parker has insisted he never gave up hope of proving his worth at international level after the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was named England Player of the Year by the fans.
The 31-year-old made his England debut in a 3-2 defeat by Denmark in 2003 but struggled to break into the first-team and amassed just three caps in a seven-year spell.
However, Parker’s impressive displays for both club and country convinced former England manager Fabio Capello to give the Spurs talisman a regular starting spot last year.
“I don’t think I ever lost hope that I could make it at international level,” Parker told Spurs’ website.
“I probably crammed in a lot in one year, because it’s only been this year that I have got in the side and probably established myself in the squad.
“I never lost hope, I realised time was ticking and I’m pleased the year’s gone the way it has.”
Parker pinpointed England’s friendly against the Danes in 2011 as the turning point in his international career. He went on to land six more caps in a breakthrough year, particularly impressing in England’s 1-0 victory over World Cup holders Spain at Wembley.
“The Denmark game was pivotal for me,” Parker said. “I came on for 45 minutes and then I got a starting place against Wales in a big game and that was massive for me.”
He added: “It was a great experience [against Spain]. It was a very tough game which we all knew it would be. They are a very, very good team who put us under a lot of pressure, but ultimately we got a goal and we got the win.
“It was very pleasing, and for me personally; I played quite well and it was quite humbling to leave Wembley to a standing ovation. That was a bit surreal.
“That was probably one of the stand out games of 2011 and the Wales game as well. It was my first start in the qualifying campaign, it was a massive game for me personally and a big game as a team and we got a great result.”