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BBC Sport's Richard Wells
"The FA don't want anything to interrupt the preparation for the next game"
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BBC Sport's John McIntyre
"A heroes welcome for England but more work ahead"
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Sunday, 2 September, 2001, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
England look ahead to Albania
Michael Owen celebrates his third goal
Michael Owen celebrates his third goal
England must now attempt to focus on their World Cup qualifier with Albania as the euphoria over their 5-1 win in Germany continues.

While coach Sven Goran Eriksson was full of praise for his team's performance in Munich, he also tried to restore a sense of perspective to their World Cup campaign.

"That is a very difficult and dangerous game after a victory like this," he added.

England are now just three points behind group nine leaders Germany with a game in hand and superior goal difference.

David Beckham challenges for the ball
Beckham led from the front
But Eriksson knows that it will be very difficult to talk about anything except the triumph in Germany.

"I can't believe that we can beat Germany 5-1 away, it seems like a dream, it's unbelievable," he said.

"I said to the players: 'I don't know what to say to you.' I told the players before the game, if you play football as you can play we can beat any team, even Germany away but I can't believe it was 5-1."

"I don't think they deserved to lose 5-1, maybe 2-1, maximum 3-1, it was a great evening for England.

The Swede also reckoned that the third goal - Michael Owen's second - was the crucial strike.


You can't say anyone had a bad game
Michael Owen
"In the second half Germany started very well, we scored on the counter-attack and that made it easier to play."

Hat-trick hero Owen could scarcely hide his excitement at his own performance and that of the team.

"You can only dream about results like this, but you don't think it will come true," said Owen.

"No-one had predicted that result, it's about time we show how good we are."

Owen became the first England striker to score three goals against Germany since Sir Geoff Hurst in the World Cup final in 1966.

However, the modest 21-year-old was keen to highlight the contributions of his team-mates.

Hat-trick

"It is great on a personal note to score a hat-trick," he added.

"But David Seaman made a world class save, Steven Gerrard scored a great goal.

"You can't say anyone had a bad game."

His sentiments were echoed by captain David Beckham, who praised the determined character of his side.

"It shows the character of the team," said the Manchester United midfielder. "We knew we would have to work hard and we did that."

"It was about the whole team tonight. I was lucky enough to be out there with those players."

Other top World Cup 2002 stories:

Links to more World Cup 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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