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Sunday, 14 January, 2001, 13:47 GMT
Eriksson impressed by Cole display
Joe Cole unleashes in the face of Stefan Schwarz
Joe Cole unleashes in the face of Stefan Schwarz
Joe Cole has done his England chances no harm with an impressive performance for West Ham in front of Sven Goran Eriksson.

Despite ending up on the losing side, West Ham boss Harry Redknapp revealed that Cole had caught the eye of the watching England coach.

"I met Mr Eriksson after the game and he was obviously very impressed with Joe," explained Redknapp.

"He said that he's special, a very good player.

"If he wants to put him in the England squad, he'll go and play."

Eriksson was an interested observer at Upton Park
Eriksson was an interested observer at Upton Park

The 19-year-old set up West Ham's best chance with a cheekily flicked through ball to Paolo di Canio, but Redknapp says there is more to Cole's game than skills and tricks.

"Joe certainly is special. His heart is as big as his body. The harder you kick him, the more he will come back for more. He's not going to shirk any challenges.

"He's been out for 10 weeks and missed an awful lot of games but he's been superb in training all week and is back to form now."

Redknapp admitted it was difficult to find the right balance with Cole and Di Canio in the same side but insisted: "You have to get Joe in your team and I've no doubt he'll go on to be one of the great players in the game".

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