Carragher now hoping to get a run in the side as King’s replacement
JAMIE Carragher is hoping to be given a run in the England team after their World Cup centre-half injury curse struck for the second time at the tournament.
Skipper Rio Ferdinand was ruled out only 24 hours after arriving in South Africa with a knee ligament injury.
Now his replacement, Ledley King, suffered a groin problem during the opening clash with the United States and was substituted at half-time.
That leaves Carragher, who was coaxed out of international retirement by Fabio Capello, and Matthew Upson vying to play alongside John Terry against Algeria on Friday.
Carragher was brought on as a second half substitute against USA, picked up a yellow card and looked to be lacking in pace.
But the Liverpool player wants to continue as England look to bounce back from their 1-1 draw against Bob Bradley’s side.
He said: “”Hopefully I’ll play, Ledley did his groin early on and did well to battle on to half-time but it’s a squad thing now.
“We have a couple of injuries in that area of the team. If I can get a chance, I would love to take it. That’s one of the reasons I came back.
“I wasn’t stupid. I knew I was coming here as a squad player, that I wasn’t a starter, and so I was delighted to get on against USA and hopefully will get another chance.
“To play in another World Cup for England is a great thing for me and I’m proud of that from a personal point of view.
“The main thing now is that hopefully I can get a run in the team and we can get through the group.”
Carragher has urged for England’s result against USA to be put into perspective but knows there is room for improvement.
He said: “Before I came out, I was watching TV and the first game in Italia 1990 saw England get a lucky draw against the Republic of Ireland and they reached the semi-finals.
“That’s all forgotten about as you move on - but the performance has to improve. You can’t say it’s only results that matter and the performances don’t.
“If you don’t play well continuously, you will come unstuck. But it’s not as if it was a disastrous performance.
“I think it was decent performance and we had a few more chances that on another day we would have put away.
“We always say the first game is going to be tough. It’s like playing your first Premier League game of the season. No matter who you are playing, it is a tough game.
“There’s always a big build-up to the first game for both teams but still, taking the lead and not going onto win, is a disappointment.”
Carragher knows there will probably be a public backlash to the result but is confident the players can deal with the situation.
He said: “It’s part of playing for England - it’s big. Everyone is interested in what’s going on but I think the players can cope with that.
“We’ve got a lot of top players who play for their clubs at the top level and with England.
“I’m sure there’ll be a lot of talk in the next few days because that’s football but most of the lads are strong enough to handle that and get themselves right for the next match.”
GETTING STUCK: Jamie Carragher.