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Kevin Keegan
"Our use of the ball against Brazil wasn't good enough"
 real 28k

Monday, 29 May, 2000, 08:34 GMT 09:34 UK
Keegan keen to attack
Robbie Fowler
Robbie Fowler has a chance to stake his claim
England coach Kevin Keegan is keen to go on the offensive for the match against Ukraine on Wednesday.

The friendly is his last chance to assess the players at this disposal before he has to select his final 22-man squad for Euro 2000.

Keegan has revealed his intention to start with Robbie Fowler and may make other changes in a bid to keep the line-up fresh but also develop more of a cutting edge.

He said: "We've got to go for the jugular a bit more against Ukraine. I don't mean that disrespectfully to them as they are a good side.



We've got to go for the jugular a bit more against Ukraine

Kevin Keegan

"But even if you want to do that against Brazil, you have to get the football first."

As for Fowler, it looks like the Liverpool striker's luck is finally changing after an incredibly frustrating season.

A run-out against Ukraine would surely be a strong signal from Keegan that Fowler will be going to Euro 2000.

"I'm thinking about starting Robbie on Wednesday," Keegan confirmed. "I'd like to have a look at him alongside Alan Shearer.

Strong signal

"Robbie has looked pretty sharp. He doesn't have to play on Wednesday to prove that he can get through 90 minutes but he has to take some part in the game for himself as well as me."

As for his team's approach to the game, Keegan is keen to build on an encouraging draw against Brazil but clearly wants improvements in certain areas.

The England coach highlighted a lack of service for his strikers as one of the principal problems.

"We'll take the tape from the Brazil game and look at some things because certainly from the back, our use of the ball wasn't good enough," Keegan explained.


Keegan and Shearer
Keegan talks tactics with skipper Alan Shearer
"The opportunity was often there to get the ball up to the front two, but we sometimes chose to ignore that and pass it sideways or go back to David Seaman."

Keegan is planning to tell his 28-man provisional squad which six players are set to miss out before the friendly against Ukraine.

And as things stand, Andy Cole looks like being one of the unfortunate group.

The Manchester United striker is said to be fine having visited a specialist over a recurring toe problem. He is back in training but with Fowler set to start against Ukraine, Cole may miss out on the final squad.

Final squad

Jamie Redknapp continues to be a major injury worry, as is Ray Parlour who suffered a knee ligament problem in the Brazil game.

Both are nevertheless considered outsiders to make the final squad, probably competing with Kieron Dyer and Nick Barmby for one midfield place.

But Steven Gerrard may feature against Ukraine at some stage after a slight thigh problem.

Emile Heskey is back in training again after a back strain and Paul Ince should also be available after recovering from a knock.

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See also:

28 May 00 | England
For Ukraine read Dinamo Kiev
27 May 00 | England
Owen on target as England draw
27 May 00 | England
England-Brazil clockwatch
27 May 00 | Photo Gallery
England 1-1 Brazil: In pictures
27 May 00 | The BBC Team
Hansen's verdict on England-Brazil
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