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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 February 2007, 11:44 GMT
Venables questions friendly games
England assistant manager Terry Venables
Venables was England boss for two-and-a-half years
England assistant boss Terry Venables says replacing some international friendlies with four-day training camps could benefit the national team.

Following Wednesday's 1-0 friendly loss to Spain, Venables says England could have used the time better to prepare for next month's Euro 2008 qualifiers.

"There were times when we might get more out of a four-day training camp and this was one of them," he said.

"We could have worked on what we need to do for the next competitive game."

England have won just one friendly under boss Steve McClaren against Greece, drawing against Holland and losing to Spain.

And with many Premiership clubs reluctant to release their top players for England duty, Venables is not convinced friendlies are the best use of an international coach's time and resources.

We understand the consequences if we fail against Israel

Terry Venables

"If an international manager is not going to have his best players available, he would be better off getting the squad together for four days, without such heavy pressure at the end of it," Venables told the News of the World.

"As much as we needed to prepare for our qualifier against Israel we had to ensure we did not leave ourselves too open to a beating by Spain.

"You end up concentrating on a match that is not important rather than one that is.

"The FA want matches because the revenue is important, but it can leave an England manager vulnerable."

606 DEBATE: Do you agree with Venables?

The defeat to Spain increased the pressure on McClaren, as his winless run as England manager stretched to four matches.

Venables admitted it is now vital that England reignite their Euro 2008 qualification campaign with good performances against Israel on 24 March and Andorra four days later.

"We understand the consequences if we fail against Israel," said Venables.

"But failure isn't something weighing us down right now because we know, given a full squad, we are strong enough and good enough to deal with those games."

England 0-1 Spain
07 Feb 07 |  Internationals
We will make Euro 2008 - McClaren
08 Feb 07 |  Internationals
McClaren gets Ferguson's support
09 Feb 07 |  Internationals
Top clubs 'not helping' McClaren
08 Feb 07 |  Internationals
Venables had England job doubts
10 Dec 06 |  Internationals


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