Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, November 16, 1999 Published at 16:44 GMT


Keown set to miss playoff

Keegan: 'It's only half-time - we need to finish the job'

England defender Martin Keown is facing a race against time to be fit for the deciding Euro 2000 play-off against Scotland.


Kevin Keegan comments on the strengths of England defender Gareth Southgate
Keeper David Seaman appears to have shrugged off a strain but Keown is still suffering from an injury picked up in the first leg at Hampden.

He is rated as 50-50 to pass a last-minute fitness test on his calf.

"He does not have to be 100pc fit but he needs to be fit enough to do himself and his country justice," said England coach Kevin Keegan.

If Keown is not fit, his place will be taken by Gareth Southgate.

Keegan is vowing not to try and kill the game at Wembley on Wednesday.

If it ain't broke...

The England coach says he is instructing his side to attack from the kick-off despite their seemingly handsome 2-0 first-leg lead.


The England coach Kevin Keegan: "They're great supporters the Scots"
He refuses to contemplate packing the defence to stifle the Scots.

"My game plan will be the same as it was in the first leg.

"Why fix something if it's not broken? The performance was good, so why change it.

"I pick teams to win games. We have got goals in our squad, whether it be Andy Cole, Michael Owen, Alan Shearer, Jamie Redknapp, David Beckham, Paul Scholes or Kevin Phillips.

No sitting back

"If it is 1-0 fine, if it is 0-0 fine, but we will be in front of our own fans and will certainly not be playing with a massed defence."

Keegan said England were not complacent.

"Complacency is a dangerous thing for anyone, it's almost a disease. And it will not happen to England.

"If Scotland get anything from us there are going to have to earn it because we are far from booking hotels in Holland or anything like that.

"We are in the driving seat and now we have to drive all the way to Holland and Belgium."

Backing Brown

Keegan gave a passionate defence of his beleaguered opposite number, Craig Brown, who has been attracting increasing criticism in Scotland.


Kevin Keegan: "It's also almost a disease complacency"
"I have tremendous respect for Craig. He is strong enough and resilient enough. He can point to his record and say that's what I've done for Scotland.

"And it will be a hard record for anyone to follow."

Keegan also urged England fans not to boo the Scottish anthem when it is sung at Wembley.

"I would like us to respect their anthem, then let rip with ours and then get on with the game because that is what is going to get us to Holland.

"It's not the Eurovision song contest."



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |


In this section

Scotland squad guide

England squad guide

Great border skirmishes

Generals in the firing line

A history of fierce football rivalry

Fans in court over football trouble

Scotland v England

Lambert out of play-offs

Hendry's double jeopardy

Brown cautious over Hendry injury

The limitations of passion-play

England claim the prize

All quiet after Wembley showdown

Timeline: England v Scotland II

Hooligans face up to smart cameras

Cheers and tears for Scotland