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Foster staking England claim

West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster has revealed England manager Roy Hodgson has been keeping close tabs on his progress with the World Cup just months away.

Last Updated: 23/12/13 at 10:19 Post Comment

Ben Foster: Early return from injury

Ben Foster: Early return from injury

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Foster made his comeback from injury on Saturday as the Baggies came from behind to draw with Hull City at The Hawthorns.

The 30-year-old's prospects of playing in Brazil in 2014 were in doubt when he suffered a stress fracture in his right foot during the Premier League clash with Everton back in August.

Early reports suggested Foster could be out until the New Year but the six-cap England shot-stopper returned ahead of schedule, producing an eye-catching display.

With West Brom already a goal down, Foster made a superb double save, firstly to deny a stinging Tom Huddlestone strike before his outstretched leg sent Ahmed Elmohamady's rebound shot to safety.

Speaking to The Sun after his side bounced back to earn a point, Foster said: "I was happy to help out with that double save.

"If we had gone 2-0 down at that point it would probably have been game over."

With England's first World Cup fixtures only six months away, an early return provides an added opportunity to impress Hodgson, who Foster revealed has been kept well-informed throughout his recovery.

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"I spoke to Roy [Hodgson] when I first got injured," he added. "He was actually at the game when I did it and then gave me a call to say how unlucky I was.

"He's been kept up to date with things. Up until a month ago we were looking at January until I got back to full fitness.

"But I have progressed a lot quicker which is a bonus."

On the domestic front, West Brom find themselves languishing 16th in the Premier League standings and four defeats in five outings prior to Foster's return saw manager Steve Clarke sacked.

Although Foster acknowledges the club is in need of results, he also believes Clarke should consider himself hard done by.

"I feel for Steve Clarke," he expressed. "It was a bit of a shock all round.

"He's a good bloke and a good coach. We're in a tough spot at the minute and have to start digging wins out."

Away from the survival battleground, Foster looks forward to a relaxing Christmas with family after finding out he would have to endure his greatest stress of all this year.

"The family are going to eat out on Christmas Day this year, the first time ever," he said.

"I did a cracking job last year but cooking Christmas dinner was the most stressful thing I've ever done.

"It was more stressful than playing football, without a doubt. More difficult than organising the defence. Horrible. We had 17 people round last year. Imagine that."

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lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

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Shaw: Criticism spot on

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urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

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