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Kevin Keegan
"David Beckham's state of mind is very good"
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Thursday, 15 June, 2000, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
Seconds out for German clash
Kevin Keegan
Keegan remains upbeat ahead of the Germany game
Kevin Keegan says his England team need to box clever if they are to beat Germany in Saturday's crunch Euro 2000 clash.

The coach said England had been "taught some lessons" in their 3-2 defeat by Portugal but added "we have worked on them".

"We took a bit of a blow and have taken the eight count as a boxer would. But we will come back punching."

Insisting that England were "back on song", Keegan told a press conference at the team's hotel in Spa: "We know what the Germans are about, and they know what we're about.

Homework

"Our homework has been done properly - we know what their weaknesses and strengths are.

"The big issue is how you take advantage of the weaknesses and cope with their strengths."

Asked about David Beckham in the wake of the abuse he received from fans after the Portuguese game, Keegan said: "His state of mind is very good, considering some of the things that have happened to him.

"He has every reason to be upbeat. His performance was outstanding but, sadly, it got lost in a lot of other things."

Great player

Asked about the controversial German selection of 39-year-old Lothar Matthaus, Keegan said: "Lothar is still a great player.

"I played against him as a kid and from the first day he stepped on the pitch he was a great player and he is still a great player."

He added: "We will be doing everything we can to beat the Germans.

"But we also know and respect the fact that this is not easy. We are not going to say anything that is going to motivate them."

Keegan has no fresh injury worries ahead of Saturday's game in Charleroi, with Steven Gerrard back in training after being rested with a slight groin injury.

Tony Adams and Steve McManaman are still sidelined, but Keegan said: "If and when we progress to the next stage, both of those will be fit, and Steve possibly has a chance to be fit for the Romania game."

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See also:

15 Jun 00 | England
Keown ready for Germans
15 Jun 00 | England
Wise targets change in fortunes
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