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banner Tuesday, 14 November, 2000, 08:03 GMT
Taylor-made for top job
Peter Taylor
Taylor has a successful spell in charge of the under-21s
BBC Sport Online's Adrian Harte profiles England's temporary manager Peter Taylor.

The irony of Peter Taylor's transition from Second Division coach to England supremo in the space of five months will not be lost on one former England manager.

During his truncated tenure at Lancaster Gate, Glenn Hoddle summoned his erstwhile Tottenham team-mate Taylor from the obscurity of managing Dover Athletic to take charge of England under-21's in 1996

Although he was ultimately dismissed in a move that seemed to owe more to politics than football, Taylor made his name in charge of the country's fledgling stars.

He lost just four out of 21 matches and secured qualification to the 2000 European Under-21 Championship Final Tournament with seven straight wins.

Peter Taylor
Taylor played four times for England
Pointedly, they lost their first match of the campaign when Howard Wilkinson replaced Taylor and disappointed in the finals themselves.

That three-year spell saw Taylor work with current England players Emile Heskey, Kieron Dyer, Wes Brown, Phil Neville and Gareth Barry; serve an apprenticeship in international management tactics; and build up a relationship with Premier League club coaches.

Indeed, when Taylor was appointed as Leicester boss, Heskey gave him a ringing endorsement.

He said: "He has the qualities to succeed. He has come a long way and has done brilliantly since he was sacked from the under-21s. He works very well with the players and developed a great spirit among the under-21s."

  Coaching career
Four successful seasons as player/boss of Dartford in the Southern League
Enters Football League as assistant manager at Watford in 1992
Started league career as coach of Southend in 1993
Moved to Dover while continuing as director of centre of excellence at Southend
Appointed England under-21 coach in 1996
Lost only four of 21 matches as under-21 manager
Appointed Gillingham boss in July 1999
Wins promotion in May 2000
Appointed manager of Leicester in July 2000
Wins Manager of the Month for September after guiding Foxes to top of the table
Speaking of his England experience, Taylor said: "It gave me more experience and more ideas than before I had the England job.

"The Georgias, the Moldovas, the Swedens and the Italys all play in different ways so you do get good ideas on how not to concede and how to beat them."

Tactically astute - witness his restructuring of Leicester's defence - he has derided the post-Hoddle England as been too predictable, advocating a change from 4-4-2 and the fielding of a ball-playing defender at the back.

The esteem in which he is held by his former Under-21 charges testifies to his man-management ability while he also has top-level experience after having played for Spurs as well as winning four caps for England.

However, his controversial dismissal as England under-21 coach after seven straight wins led many to speculate that he and FA Technical Director Wilkinson are bitter enemies; a potential stumbling block in his candidature for the England job.

However, even before his appointment Taylor himself disputed that:
"I was surprised when in happened and I made it clear to Howard because I had done well with the Under-21s. But as far as I am concerned, I could work with Howard again."

Now he will get his chance.

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