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Kevin Keegan
"I would have taken Andy - he is not fit enough to go"
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The BBC's Mike Ingham
"There is a line of inconsistency here"
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Thursday, 1 June, 2000, 01:33 GMT 02:33 UK
Keegan names Euro 2000 squad

Cole (right) misses out, while Heskey gets the nod
Andy Cole was joined on Wednesday by David James, Rio Ferdinand, and Kieron Dyer as the four players left out of Keegan's 22-man squad for Euro 2000.

As England kicked off against Ukraine in the Euro 2000 warm-up at Wembley, Cole was nowhere to be seen.

England manager Kevin Keegan's later announcement confirmed the Manchester United frontman will miss the European Championships - a lingering foot injury ruling out his chances.

At a press conference held to announce the squad, Keegan stressed several times: "Andy Cole has not been dropped. He is injured. If he had been fit, I would definitely have taken him."

There is never an easy way to tell people in this sort of situation

Kevin Keegan

The Euro 2000 dreams of the other England players were ended on Wednesday afternoon, when they were told of their fate.

The midfield duo of Arsenal's Ray Parlour and Liverpool's Jamie Redknapp had already been ruled out through injury.

Aston Villa's David James lost the third goalkeeping spot to Richard Wright - perhaps after the Ipswich No.1's outstanding performance in the Division One play-off final win over Barnsley.

Speaking of his squad choice, Keegan said: "Andy wasn't sure he felt quite right with his left foot - I'm sure it's the right decision and so is Andy - you'll have the chance to see that.

He added: "Credit to the others. They're all disapointed. They've taken it in the right spirit.

"There was no easy way to do it. I think I've got a good balance in the squad.

The gaffer has his own opinion and his is the one that's important so I just have to go back to West Ham and go on working hard

A disappointed Rio Ferdinand

"You've got to put Steven Gerrard and Gareth Barry as gambles but if you need any indication they are ready for it you probably had it on Wednesday night."

Rio Ferdinand gave his reaction at missing out on Euro 2000 and took the opportunity to wish his colleagues all the best.

He said: "I'm obviously disappointed but good luck to the boys.

"The gaffer has his own opinion and his is the one that's important so I just have to go back to West Ham and go on working hard."

The inclusion of teenager Gareth Barry in the senior squad will be a massive boost to the Aston Villa player who was only promoted from the Under-21 squad when Jason Wilcox suffered an injury.

richard wright
Ipswich keeper Richard Wright is Euro 2000 bound

Barmby, who unlike Barry is not left-footed but can crucially play on the flank, also made the cut after being recalled to the squad by Keegan almost four years after making his previous appearance in the first match of Glenn Hoddle's reign.

After the victory against Ukraine, Keegan was upbeat and hailed Gareth Barry, Nicky Barmby, Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler for their contributions.

He said: "Gareth gave us a lovely left foot down our side. It was a good introduction for him.

"Nicky Barmby also came on and was unlucky not to have a hand in three goals, while Steven Gerrard did really well. It wasn't any easy game to come into.

"Robbie needed the game - the 45 minutes will do him good. Goalscorers love to score goals.

And he also paid tribute to goalkeeper Nigel Martyn for his two important saves.

"He kept us in the game," he said. "We're blessed with some great goalkeepers in this country.

Keegan was pleased his decision to use wing-backs was rewarded with another clean sheet.

He continued: "I want that flexibility. What we've shown is, whatever the system, the commitment and willingness is what has shone through more than anything. That's been a major plus."

England's 22-man squad for Euro 2000

Goalkeepers: David Seaman, Nigel Martyn, Richard Wright
Defenders: Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Sol Campbell, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Gareth Southgate, Gareth Barry
Midfielders: David Beckham, Dennis Wise, Paul Ince, Nicky Barmby, Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard, Steve McManaman
Strikers: Alan Shearer, Michael Owen, Emile Heskey, Kevin Phillips, Robbie Fowler.

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Stats for England

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See also:

31 May 00 | England
Victorious farewell for England
31 May 00 | England
England v Ukraine: Clockwatch
31 May 00 | Photo Gallery
England 2-0 Ukraine
30 May 00 | England
Euro heartache for midfield duo
31 May 00 | England
Macca: Don't judge me on one game
30 May 00 | England
England rest Owen and Wise
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