McClaren to keep options for Germany friendly
England manager Steve McClaren is expected to name a big squad for the friendly against Germany to offset any late withdrawals.sports Updated: Aug 17, 2007 15:39 IST
England manager Steve McClaren is expected to name a big squad for next Wednesday's friendly at Wembley against Germany to offset any late withdrawals.
The players available to him have already been reduced after Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez told him that Steven Gerrard will not play, even though the Reds captain is likely to face Chelsea on Sunday despite his broken toe.
Having said he intends to call up John Terry, Owen Hargreaves, Michael Owen and David Beckham in order to ensure they are part of the build-up despite recent lack of match practice, there is no reason to think McClaren will not try to persuade Benitez to let Gerrard link up as well.
A year into the job, McClaren is aware the team he has in his head right now is not the one likely to be available next week at Wembley.
But he wants to develop a team ethos as the Euro 2008 qualifiers reach their crucial stage, which is why he is expected to name a large squad.
"The squad I have in my mind and the team I have in my mind now could very easily change before we meet up Monday - and it will do," McClaren said.
"It has happened in the past and it will happen again. But what I want to do is establish a squad of players that we will use in the period until November."
"I do want players on the fringe but I also want to be able to stick with what we have."
In addition to Gerrard, Tottenham duo Ledley King and Aaron Lennon are also out, as are Manchester United's Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney.