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Wednesday, 21 June, 2000, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
England miss Gascoigne's passing inspiration
Peter Beardsley
Beardsley says England did not deserve to progress
Peter Beardsley admits England deserved to be dumped out of Euro 2000 - and claims they miss the inspiration of Paul Gascoigne in his prime.

Beardsley, assistant coach in the current Kevin Keegan regime, accepts England's results were a fair reflection of their performances.

He refused, however, to point the finger of blame at Phil Neville after the Manchester United full-back conceded the late penalty which Ioan Ganea converted to give Romania a well earned 3-2 victory in Charleroi last night.

The win ensured that the Eastern Europeans accompanied Portugal into the last eight of the competition, with Kevin Keegan accepting that England are not good enough.

However, while appreciating his side's shortfalls, Beardsley also believes there is still plenty to be optimistic about.

"Technically, we have the players," he insisted.

The simple truth is we didn't perform

England assistant coach Peter Beardsley
"We do not have a Paul Gascoigne who can take people on, but we do have quality in the likes of David Beckham and Paul Scholes, who have great passing ability.

"Over the first three games, David has been as good as anyone in the tournament and I feel sorry for him that we have been knocked out.

"People always look for someone to blame, in Euro 96 it was Gareth Southgate and this time it might be Phil Neville.

Very disappointed

"But the simple truth is we didn't perform and the reason we are going home is not because of Phil Neville."

Beardsley also defended goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, whose misguided punch at the start of the second half fell straight to Dorinel Munteanu, allowing him to level the scores at 2-2.

Peter Beardsley
Beardsley: The truth is we did not perform
"All goalkeepers have been punching the ball and most have got away with it," he said.

"Nigel only found out he was playing five minutes before the game, he came a long way out and took responsibility. Unfortunately, it went wrong for him.

"There is no doubt that the best two teams in our group have qualified.

"When the draw was first made, I suppose everyone thought it would be ourselves and Germany who were likely to progress. We are all very disappointed that it hasn't worked out," he told BBC Breakfast News.

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