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Thursday, 29 June, 2000, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Keegan: I must change my approach
Kevin Keegan
Kevin Keegan says harsh lessons must be learned
Kevin Keegan admits he failed to get the best out of his players at Euro 2000.

The England coach has warned his charges to "raise their game" ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.

He believes there are harsh lessons to learn after England's early exit from the European tournament.

His comments follow the revelation on Wednesday that Terry Venables would consider stepping back into the job if Keegan resigned.

"I have to change my thinking, change the way I approach games."

Kevin Keegan

Polls among supporters have shown backing for Venables, and it is reported that FA support for Keegan is on the slide.

Keegan does not exonerate himself from the criticism, admitting: "I have to change my thinking, change the way I approach games."

England were just two minutes from a quarter-final meeting with Italy, but in real terms were a lot further behind the final eight of the European Championships.

"The secret of management or coaching is you have get the best out of your players and I never did that," the current England coach added.

"I got a good spirit and willingness, but we just didn't perform and we have to look at the reasons why.

Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer is among the departing old guard
"Everyone has been negative enough and we were two minutes away from playing Italy in the next stage. I was always hopeful we would step up.

"We started well against Portugal and then gave away a two-goal lead.

"Germany was always going to be hard, but I was looking for us to step up against Romania and get a result and then step up again for Italy. But that never happened."

Keegan has already handed a vote of confidence to the elder statesmen of his Euro 2000 squad.


He admits some change is inevitable as England prepare for World Cup qualification with a friendly against world champions and European Championship finalists France.

But the England boss views the build-up to a re-match with Germany and a potentially troublesome tie with Finland as the ideal time to invigorate the squad and its performance.

"The great news is that we will have to change some things - Alan Shearer has retired for a start so there will be changes. What we have to do is raise our game.

"We go to France and we have to find a freshness and show ourselves in a better light.

Terry Venables
Terry Venables has been linked with the job again
"Then we have got the Germans and then you can't start experimenting too much.

"That was the problem before Euro 2000, you can't experiment too much when you only have two or three preparation games.

"I have taken all the flak and criticism and I can be honest enough to say there are things that you have to learn from a competition.

"It all starts again with Germany and then Finland in October. They come within three days of each other."

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See also:

28 Jun 00 | England
Venables hints at England return
28 Jun 00 | England
Uefa sorry for Keegan criticism
21 Jun 00 | England
No calls for Keegan to go
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