Chris Hughton talks up Andy Carroll's England claims
Andy Carroll, widely tipped for an England call-up, impressed against Fulham
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton said striker Andy Carroll had done everything within his power to earn his first England call-up.
Carroll came close to breaking the deadlock in the Magpies' goalless home draw with Fulham, testing keeper Mark Schwarzer with a low 20-yard effort.
Hughton stated: "He couldn't have done any more this season to stake a claim."
"He is a young player who we have wanted to make very good progress - and he has done exactly that."
Carroll is widely expected to feature in England's friendly against France at Wembley on Wednesday night after scoring seven Premier League goals for Newcastle.
The 21-year-old was named in England manager Fabio Capello's squad on Saturday after being omitted from the under-21s for Tuesday's friendly in Germany.
On an afternoon when Fulham's well-organised defence proved a tough nut to crack, Carroll's improved mobility and goal threat were plain to see.
Those qualities drew generous praise from Hughton, who clearly sees in the Gateshead-born frontman a worthy inheritor of the number nine shirt once worn by club legends such as Jackie Milburn and Alan Shearer.
Hughton praises Carroll contribution
"When we decided to give him that number nine shirt, it was because we felt he could very much develop into that role, and he couldn't have done any more than he has done," Hughton added.
"He has added goals to his game and he is very different to most other strikers."
Hughton's positive appraisal of the striker was echoed by Fulham boss Mark Hughes, who likewise believes Carroll has the ability to make an impact on the international stage.
"He will certainly make an impression," said former Manchester United, Chelsea and Wales striker Hughes. "Whether or not he would be able to go straight in and cement a place long-term, that's a different debate.
"But if he was involved, he would certainly make people sit up and take notice of him, certainly in opposition.
"He's a difficult player to deal with and if he gets the right service, which on occasions he has had this season, then he's a real threat and you have to acknowledge that."
England are light on strikers for the France friendly, with Darren Bent, Bobby Zamora, Jermain Defoe and Wayne Rooney having all been ruled out.
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