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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 February, 2005, 18:38 GMT
England call up Johnson & Downing
Crystal Palace striker Andy Johnson
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has called up Crystal Palace striker Andy Johnson and Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing for the first time.

The pair join up with the rest of the 24-man squad for the friendly against Holland on Wednesday at Villa Park.

Chelsea defender Glen Johnson and Newcastle's Kieron Dyer have both been recalled by Eriksson for the game.

Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell, Nicky Butt, Alan Smith and Darius Vassell all miss the match through injury.

Eriksson admitted he could not ignore the claims of Johnson or Downing and that a friendly against Marco van Basten's side was the perfect chance to have a look at both players.

"Andy Johnson has pace and is a goalscorer, so I've been watching him for some time for Crystal Palace and now I have the chance to take a closer look at him when he is with us this week," said Eriksson.

"That pace that he has is very important in modern international football. He has a lot of it and that is a big thing.

"He also works very hard for the team and technically he good ability with the ball at his feet.

"Stewart has been playing very well for a long time so now we'll have a look at him. I think its fair.

"He's still very young so there is much more to come from him but he has already been playing regularly in the Premier League this season and we can see that he is improving all the time.

"It's very exciting to have players like these coming through and we have this friendly game to take a look at them.

"With these two and Shaun Wright-Phillips - who isn't new to the squad but is almost new - we have some very interesting options to pick from."


The England squad to face Holland at Villa Park in Wednesday's friendly:

Goalkeepers: Robinson, James, Green.

Defenders: G Neville, A Cole, G Johnson, Carragher, Bridge, King, Terry, Upson.

Midfielders: Beckham, Lampard, Hargreaves, Jenas, J Cole, S Wright- Phillips, Gerrard, Downing, Dyer.

Strikers: Owen, Rooney, Defoe, A Johnson.


Holland squad:

Goalkeepers: Edwin van der Sar, Henk Timmer.

Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz, Wilfried Bouma, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Nigel de Jong, Jan Kromkamp, Joris Mathijsen, Mario Melchiot.

Midfielders: Mark van Bommel, John Heitinga, Denny Landzaat, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart.

Strikers: Romeo Castelen, Dirk Kuijt, Roy Makaay, Ugur Yildirim.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: England striker Andy Johnson


Report: BBC Radio Five Live's Mike Ingham


Interview: England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson




SEE ALSO
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03 Feb 05 |  Football


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