Nigel reveals his England delight

Nigel Reo-Coker has spoken for the first time since hearing the news that he has been placed on standby for England's World Cup squad this summer.

The Hammers and England under-21 captain is one of five players named by Sven-Goran Eriksson - along with Scott Carson, Luke Young, Jermain Defoe and Andy Johnson - who will join up with the England squad next week and be on red alert should any injuries occur among the main group of 23.

With no senior international experience to his name yet, the news has certainly come as a surprise to the 21-year-old, and he revealed his delight exclusively to this afternoon…

"I can't think of any better way to round off my season, to be honest," he said. "I'm ecstatic, and the news hasn't really sunk in yet.

"I certainly wasn't expecting it. I already had my holiday booked and was heading away on May 18, so that will all have to change now. It's unbelievable, really, and I'm so excited about the whole thing.

"I got a call at around midday and at first I thought it was a wind-up. I've got to admit, I was a bit aggressive at first and cursed a bit because I thought it was someone messing about, but then I realised it was actually Sven-Goran Eriksson, and I was speechless after that.

"I haven't had a chance to speak to family and friends yet, I'm still in a bit of a daze. It's going to be a fantastic weekend for me - the FA Cup final on Saturday, my birthday on Sunday, and joining up with the England squad on Monday. I'm so happy, and I can't wait for the experience."