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Saturday, 7 September, 2002, 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK
Eriksson salutes Smith
Alan Smith celebrates his goal for England against Portugal
Smith (left) and Bowyer both impressed Eriksson
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is convinced Alan Smith is ready for senior international football after his goalscoring display in the 1-1 draw with Portugal.

Smith netted his first England goal with a clinical first-half header as Eriksson's side were held in their warm-up for the Euro 2004 qualifiers at Villa Park.

"Alan Smith showed that he is really ready for the senior team and that is very good for us," said Eriksson.


We need to be more awake but there are more positives than negatives
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson

"You now know that when there are qualification games he is ready.

"He had a really good game today. He can play in several different positions and he scored a beautiful goal."

Smith, who impressed alongside stand-in captain Michael Owen, said he was keeping his fingers crossed about lining up for England again in the near future.

"I enjoyed it out there. It was nice to get a start, nice to play," he said.

"Full credit to the lads, Michael Owen helped me out. It was good for me to get involved."


It was the biggest game of my life
Lee Bowyer

Costinha's equaliser for Portugal with 12 minutes remaining was the only negative for Eriksson.

"There were many positives from the game. Lee Bowyer and David Dunn both had very good games," he added.

"We marked very badly in the second half. They had two corner kicks and could have scored each time before the one they did score from.

"We need to be more awake but there are more positives than negatives."

Bowyer marked his England debut by setting up the goal for his Leeds team-mate with a perfect cross from the right.

"I came in from the warm-up and the staff settled me down. I got an early touch and that helped," said Bowyer.

"I loved every minute of it - and I hope there is more to come. Smithy helped me out by scoring.

"It was the biggest game of my life, the first time representing my country at the highest level. It has been a long time waiting for it.

"I've had a lot of backing. I tried my hardest and I'll keep trying hard for Leeds."

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England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson
"I think we played good football"
England's Alan Smith
"I enjoyed it"
England v Portugal news

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See also:

06 Sep 02 | Europe
07 Sep 02 | Scotland
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