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Friday, 12 May, 2000, 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK
Lampard set to miss Euro 2000
Frank Lampard
Lampard: A major force in the U21s midfield
West Ham midfielder Frank Lampard is set to miss out on the senior England squad for Euro 2000 after receiving a call up to the Under 21 European Championship side.

Howard Wilkinson named Lampard in his 20-man squad junior squad, along with several other leading Premiership players, thereby scuppering his expected inclusion in Kevin Keegan's selection.

But Liverpool striker Emile Heskey and midfielder Steven Gerrard, together with Newcastle's Kieron Dyer and West Ham's Rio Ferdinand are not named, which may indicate they are being considered by Keegan.

And Chelsea's Jody Morris is also out - because he is involved in a court case having been charged with actual bodily harm.
A court case keeps Jody Morris out
A court case keeps Jody Morris out

Wilkinson said: "Jody Morris has a pending court case which threatens to appear in the middle of these championships.

"So given all sorts of considerations, not least of which that the squad was due to be announced today and has to be finalised on Tuesday night.

"It was decided to be in everybody's interest to omit him. "

Leeds' Lee Bowyer and Jonathon Woodgate are also out of contention because of a pending court case.

However Leeds striker Michael Bridges will lead the U21 attack, when England head to Slovakia for the eight-team tournament which starts on 27 May.

They will play group games against Italy, Turkey and Slovenia.

Other picks include Carl Cort from Wimbledon, Jamie Carragher, Danny Murphy and David Thompson from Liverpool and Lee Hendrie from Aston Villa.

Wilkinson said: "Jamie Carragher, Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry and Lee Hendrie have all proved themselves as Premiership and international players and I have spoken to them and explained the situation to them.
Carragher is one of three Liverpool players
Carragher is one of three Liverpool players

" In some respects I've had some good news and bad news for players."

Bridges has hit form again late in the season, scoring four goals in his last four games to take his tally to 21.

Given the quality of Wilkinson's squad, Bridges believes England can bring home the trophy on 4 June and provide a perfect fillip for the senior side, who start their campaign in Holland and Belgium a week later.

The 21-year-old, who is joined by fellow Leeds players in goalkeeper Paul Robinson and right-back Lee Mills, knew his season would be extended by three weeks after recently being kitted out for his England suit.

Not favourites

Now Bridges is hoping the national side will be made to measure for championship glory.

He said: "I only recently said to somebody, the more games the merrier because you just want to keep playing and playing. It's just more mentally tiring than physically draining.

"But it should be fantastic over there. There's some good teams who are involved and some good players, but we've done well at this level. We've shown that in the past.

"Howard has come in and he's done a good job. I doubt if we we will be favourites, but on past record I can't see why we can't go there and win it."

England face Italy in the opening game in Bratislava, and given only the top team in each group goes forward to the final, it could prove to be the decider.

"The first game is probably the key," added Bridges.

"If we can win that one then it will be in our hands, but Slovenia could prove to be a surprise."

The England Under-21 squad:

Weaver (Man City), Robinson (Leeds), Thompson (Liverpool), Chadwick (Man Utd), Mills (Leeds), Barry (Aston Villa), Young (Tottenham), King (Tottenham), Carragher (Liverpool), Johnson (Derby), Harley (Chelsea), Lampard (West Ham), Hendrie (Aston Villa), Murphy (Liverpool), Dunn (Blackburn), Carrick (West Ham), Bridges (Leeds), Cort (Wimbledon), Jeffers (Everton), Campbell (Middlesbrough).

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See also:

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