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Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Sunday, 20 July 2008 18:25 UK

Time for reality check - Brooking

Sir Trevor Brooking
Brooking believes England are vulnerable when key players are injured

Sir Trevor Brooking has said it is unrealistic to expect England to reach the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup.

The Football Association's director of football development said the squad lacked the depth of talent to compete.

"I thought there was a lot of quality football in Euro 2008 and the fact we didn't qualify was almost a reality check," Brooking told Sky Sports News.

"We don't want to go from that (not qualifying) to saying we need to be in the last four of the World Cup."

Brooking's comments appear at odds with the FA's target for England manager Fabio Capello, which was to reach the semi-finals of either the next World Cup or Euro 2012.

England last reached a major semi-final at Euro 1996 when Terry Venables' side lost to Germany on penalties.

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And Brooking added: "We need to start playing consistently and not be vulnerable if we get one or two injuries in the squad. The depth of talent in the squad has always been the challenge.

"We've always got that expectancy but we've got to have a reality check, having not won anything for 42 years.

"There have been a couple of quarter-finals but that doesn't appear to be enough. Now we've got to start clawing our way up.

"Scoring goals is the big challenge but more than anything we've got to get to the World Cup finals.

"From there comes the expectancy and confidence to do well in the final stages."




see also
FA sets England semi-final target
06 May 08 |  Football
England failures puzzle Capello
28 Apr 08 |  Football
Brooking urges coaching overhaul
18 Dec 07 |  Football
Capello has concerns over England
02 Jun 08 |  Internationals
Trinidad & Tobago 0-3 England
01 Jun 08 |  Internationals
Trinidad & Tobago v England as it happened
01 Jun 08 |  Internationals


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