Peter Lovenkrands' mind is not on Denmark

PETER Lovenkrands has cooled talk of an impending international recall despite his impressive form for Newcastle United which has made him the Championship’s in-form striker.

Peter Lovenkrands
Peter Lovenkrands

PETER Lovenkrands has cooled talk of an impending international recall despite his impressive form for Newcastle United which has made him the Championship’s in-form striker.

Lovenkrands has scored six goals in his last five games, even though only three of them have been starts thanks to the intense competition for forward places at St James’ Park.

The lack of automatic starts has not stopped a series of glowing reports making their way to Denmark manager Morten Olsen, who has supposedly earmarked the 30-year-old for a shock recall ahead of the World Cup Finals in South Africa.

Lovenkrands, though, has not heard anything from the national team and insisted he had more important things on his mind at this stage.

The former Glasgow Rangers and Schalke striker, who has 21 Denmark caps, is still coming to terms with the death of his father and admitted he is more concerned about making sure Newcastle are back in the Premier League next season than whether he has done enough to earn a recall.

He said: “I haven’t heard anything directly from the national team, but people in Denmark have been writing about it because things are going so well for me at Newcastle.

“I haven’t been involved since the Portugal qualifier and even then I played at left wing-back which was strange. Right now I’m just focusing on my family and the support they need. After that, it’s Newcastle and making sure we get back into the Premier League. I’ve not really thought about the World Cup.”

Although Lovenkrands is skeptical about returning to international football he would be delighted if he did get a call from Olsen ahead of next month’s international friendly fixtures.

He said: “If it comes then I will take it and I will be absolutely delighted to be involved. Of course I’d love to play in a World Cup, but I’ve got so many other things to occupy my mind. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and we’ll see whether the call comes.”

Meanwhile, Chris Hughton is confident United fans will see a far better performance against Swansea tomorrow than they did in the lacklustre offering at Derby County.

That 3-0 defeat ended Newcastle’s 15-game unbeaten run in emphatic fashion, and with just one win in seven games on the road there will be fresh pressure on the team at the Liberty Stadium.

United will be without Nicky Butt in south Wales as he is still hampered by a thigh strain, although Fabricio Coloccini is back in contention and Alan Smith will almost certainly start as Hughton weighs up whether to return to a five-man midfield away from home.

Hughton said: “We have to take the good things out of our defeat at Derby. Yes, we lost there 3-0, but if you look at the stats we had just as many shots as they did and we did not get the rub of the green.

“If Kevin Nolan’s or Wayne Routledge’s chances had gone in before the break, who knows? What happened at Derby is now history. It was disappointing to lose by the margin we did, but the best way to deal with that is to put it behind us by putting in a better performance.

“We have a tough game against Swansea next and that is what we are focused on. They are in very good form and what we know about them is they do not change their style of play whether they are at home or away.”

 

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