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Friday, 10 November, 2000, 04:53 GMT
Taylor wants return of B team
Chris Sutton turned down England B while at Blackburn
Chris Sutton turned down England B while at Blackburn
Peter Taylor wants B internationals reintroduced by the Football Association to help prepare players for the senior side.

The England stand-in coach said the gap between the senior England side and the Under-21 team was often too big.

Taylor, the former England Under-21 coach, has named an inexperienced side to face Italy in a friendly next week with the side boasting an average age of just 23.5.

Taylor has said he went for a young side because the match is a friendly, but was not an advocate of introducing players before their time.

"We should think about introducing B internationals, as when the players finish the Under-21 competitions they are not ready to go into the senior team for the big World Cup or European Championship matches," said Taylor.


We should think about introducing B internationals, as when the players finish the Under-21 competitions they are not ready to go into the senior team for the big World Cup or European Championship matches
  Peter Taylor
"I'm just saying they've had a little bit longer now and it's worth a go.

"But the pressure to achieve results might be why any England manager hasn't had the chance to experiment before.

"We want to experiment but want to win every game as well. At times you can't have both and when it's a friendly, I think you can take that chance."

Taylor, then the Under-21 coach, was involved in three B games organised by Glenn Hoddle but, as Kevin Keegan found out, clubs are often reluctant to release players for even senior friendly internationals.

Moreover, Chris Sutton actually refused to play in one B match as he felt it would do him little good, while Matt Le Tissier complained that not even a hat-trick against Russia's B side seemed to enhance his senior chances.

Matt Le Tissier questioned the value of B games
A 'B' hat-trick failed to help Le Tissier
In the current absence of such preparation games, Taylor insists that giving experience to several of England's brightest young talents is therefore the most important goal for next week's senior friendly.

It is certainly a young squad, with 25-year-old David Beckham, the captain, being a virtual 'father figure' to a group including eight players who would still be eligible for the Under-21 side.

Taylor's ban on players aged 31 or over has also placed question-marks over the international futures of the likes of David Seaman, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Dennis Wise, Paul Ince and Teddy Sheringham.

The Leicester boss insisted the decision to go with young players was a one-off and the older players in the England set-up still had an international future.

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See also:

09 Nov 00 |  Football
Taylor names youthful squad
08 Nov 00 |  World Cup 2002
Taylor questions F.A.'s authority
09 Nov 00 |  Football
Taylor's new kids on the block
30 Oct 00 |  World Cup 2002
From Keegan to Eriksson
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