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Monday, 11 November, 2002, 15:57 GMT
Greening earns England call
Middlesbrough midfielder Jonathan Greening
Greening has impressed on Boro's left flank
England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has sprung a surprise by selecting Middlesbrough's Jonathan Greening for his 26-man training squad.

Former England under-21 international Greening has blossomed under Boro boss Steve McClaren, who stepped down from his England coaching role earlier this month.

Wayne Rooney is a brilliant talent but he should be with the Under-21 squad at least once before the senior team

Sven-Goran Eriksson

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard and David Thompson of Blackburn Rovers keep their places after being handed call-ups for the games against Slovakia and Macedonia last month.

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and Liverpool striker Emile Heskey were both injured for the Macedonia match, but are included by Eriksson for the get together between 18-20 November.

But Joe Cole and Lee Bowyer again miss out, as does Everton's teenage prodigy Wayne Rooney.

Eriksson said: "I think he's a brilliant talent but it might be a bit too early.

"He should be with the Under-21 squad at least once before the senior team, but who knows, February maybe?"

Greening's key dates
Aug 1996: Signs pro forms for York City.
Mar 1998: Signs for Man Utd.
Dec 26 1998: Man Utd debut v Notts Forest.
1999: Wins first of 17 U-21 caps v Holland.
Aug 2001: Joins Middlesbrough in 2m deal.

Eriksson's 26-man party will get together for two days of training on Monday, although no match is involved.

Arsenal keeper David Seaman and Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt are already likely to miss the get-together through injury.

Eriksson was also confident that clubs would not pull players out.

The England coach said: "We sent a letter to clubs a year ago, explaining that we would only have three friendlies in a season, but that we might take players away for a get-together.

"The clubs were happy with that, and I hope the players will come.

"If they don't I will understand."

"This is a really good opportunity to get all the players together again.

"I'm looking forward to seeing everyone."


England squad

Goalkeepers: Seaman (Arsenal), James (West Ham), Robinson (Leeds).
Defenders: G Neville (Man Utd), Mills (Leeds), Ferdinand (Man Utd), Campbell (Arsenal), Southgate (Middlesbrough), Woodgate (Leeds), Cole (Arsenal), Bridge (Southampton).
Midfielders: Beckham (Man Utd), Butt (Man Utd), Gerrard (Liverpool), Scholes (Man Utd), Hargreaves (Bayern Munich), Dyer (Newcastle), Thompson (Blackburn), Murphy (Liverpool), Sinclair (West Ham), Lampard (Chelsea), Greening (Middlesbrough).
Forwards: Heskey (Liverpool), Owen (Liverpool), Smith (Leeds), Vassell (Aston Villa).

See also:

11 Nov 02 | England
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