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Last Updated: Monday, 13 October, 2003, 07:03 GMT 08:03 UK
From zeroes to heroes

Terry Butcher
BBC Sport summariser

The only thing that really matters for England this week is that Saturday's game is in the record books as a 0-0 draw and they have got the point they needed.

It wasn't the best England performance I have seen but it was gutsy and in John Terry and Sol Campbell they had two heroes at the back.

England have gone from zeroes to heroes in the space of two days and the atmosphere in Istanbul helped England in the end.

You need two sections of a crowd to get an atmosphere and if there are no England fans there then there is nothing for the Turkish fans to bait or have a go at, so it was very very quiet there, which was great.

I think England have a good chance of going all the way in Portugal. They have the nucleus of a good side and some good young players coming through.

On Saturday, they went into the game without their leading goalscorer and with a 17-year-old playing up front.

I thought Rooney had a good game and he will be an important player in Portugal.


Mark Lawrenson
BBC Sport summariser

You have to say well done England for stopping Turkey playing and for achieving the result they required.

And well done England also for the way they always carried a goal threat.

If you are going to go away from home and try to achieve a draw then the best way to do it is by always looking capable of scoring a goal.

I think England looked more likely to score than Turkey did.

GROUP SEVEN TABLE
England P8 Pts20 GD+9
Turkey P8 Pts19 GD+12
Slovakia P8 Pts10 GD+2
Macedonia P8 Pts6 GD-3
Liechtenstein P8 Pts1 GD-21
The draw means they remain unbeaten in the group, it was an excellent result and everyone can start to look forward to Portugal next year.

David Beckham should have scored from the penalty and he was fortunate that England got the result, but he and Michael Owen have been the main two players for Sven-Goran Eriksson.

There are times when Beckham looks like he is not in control, but he is and remains a massive influence both on and off the field.

I do think Eriksson will take England to Portugal and then join Chelsea. That is probably the worst kept secret in football.

But he will want to sign off by going all the way in Portugal and England will be feared.

Performances like the one they gave in Turkey will be exactly what they need in Portugal and who is to say how far England can go?




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Terry Butcher
"England players are desperate to play for their country"




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