Date: 20th December 2005 at 12:48pm
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Although he already knows the identities of most of those who will go to Germany next June for the World Cup, Sven Goran Eriksson is no fool and wants to leave his options open by saying there are still places available in his squad. And Scott Parker can only hope he impressed the watching England manager on Saturday.

England have arguably the best midfield of any country in the competition, and Parker knows it will probably take an injury to the likes of Stephen Gerrard or Frank Lampard for him to make the plane. But he hasn’t ruled out a place in the squad.

Parker: ‘All I can do is keep trying to put in good performances. I want to say the right things, but I don’t know what else I can do other than play consistently and at my best. I feel I’m coming into my game now, I feel as if I’m getting fit.

‘At the start of the season, I was running on adrenaline having not played for so long. I had a period where I felt a bit sluggish but in the last couple of weeks I have started to feel strong. All I can do is to try to keep playing well for Newcastle and hopefully I might get a chance.’

Souness: ‘We think we have a great buy in Scott Parker. He has been fantastic on the pitch and has also given us a hell of a lot off it. I don’t need to say much in the dressing room before a game because Scott is the one that gets them all at it. He’s a great character to have, he makes my job easier.

‘I’m a bit annoyed that he got booked at West Ham because that keeps him out of the game at Liverpool. We are trying to get him to stay on his feet a bit more but he only knows how to play the game one way.’