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Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 21:50 GMT 22:50 UK
Keegan eyes up Fowler
Liverpool's Robbie Fowler
Fowler is keen to return to the international stage
Kevin Keegan got the chance to run the rule over Robbie Fowler's form when he played a full 90 minutes for Liverpool against Celtic in a testimonial for Ronnie Moran.

It was perhaps a surprise that Fowler lasted the whole match given his recent injury troubles, but, while there were no problems with his fitness, his finishing was not up to his usual standards.

It wasn't for the want of trying, as Fowler put in a determined display, but his touch mirrored that of his fellow Liverpool strikers in the league run-in.

Liverpool missed out on a Champions League spot after they were unable to score in their last five league games, but they were too good for Celtic on the night and ran out 4-1 winners.

Despite failing to score, Fowler, who was named captain on the night, made the first goal for Erik Meijer, with the other goals coming from David Thompson, Titi Camara and Meijer rounded things off with his second.

Keegan was originally hoping to be able to check on Fowler's recovery at Liverpool's final league match of the season at Bradford, but the striker was omitted from the squad.

Fowler was reported to have had a furious row with Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier, but he has denied the rumours.


Fowler & Houllier
Fowler denies rowing with club boss Gerard Houllier
Keegan was at the match and Fowler admitted to being disappointed that he was not involved, though he said there was no substance to the claims that he and Houllier had clashed over the issue.

Fowler told Liverpool's official website: "I am amazed that people have tried to suggest I had a blazing row with the manager and there had been a bust-up.

"The truth is there has been no row and there has not even been an exchange of words.

"The manager explained why I wasn't in the squad and I fully respect his decision.

"Of course I want to play and I am naturally disappointed not to be involved. But I have been out for eight months so I can't expect to be picked automatically.

"Michael Owen was left out of the squad the previous week and we all understood the manager's thinking. He's the one who has to make the difficult and important decisions and we must respect them."

Keegan has chosen six strikers in his 28-man squad to face Brazil, Ukraine and Malta before Euro 2000 and at least one is expected to be dropped from the official party for the finals.

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See also:

15 May 00 | England
Barmby gets Euro 2000 chance
15 May 00 | England
James thrilled by England call-up
14 May 00 | England
England form guide
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