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Hurst backs West Ham's Cole to be England World Cup bolter

World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst is backing West Ham United striker Carlton Cole to be England's bolter for next year's tournament in South Africa.

He said: "At one time, you would have thought Heskey was a certainty, just as Peter Crouch was.

"But Cole has shown he can play at the very highest level. He has surprised a few people.

"You always expect goals from your strikers and you have to look at Heskey's international record - just seven goals in 54 appearances - and ask if that is good enough.

"Back in 1966, Martin Peters got a very late call into the England squad - he got his first cap in May that year and he became very influential in the win.

"Cole is a late starter for the England team but Capello has obviously seen something he likes.

"I'd be surprised if Capello took three big men in Cole, Heskey and Crouch to the World Cup, one of them will drop out."

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