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Rediff.com  » Sports » McClaren refuses to play blame game after Robinson error

McClaren refuses to play blame game after Robinson error

August 23, 2007 10:04 IST
England coach Steve McClaren refused to point the finger at blundering Paul Robinson after the goalkeeper's error gifted Germany an equaliser in Wednesday's 2-1 friendly defeat at Wembley Stadium.

England led with a 10th minute Frank Lampard goal but Robinson handed Kevin Kuranyi an equaliser when, straining under his bar to reach a Bernd Schneider cross, he palmed it straight to the striker's feet. Kuranyi gratefully swept the ball into the gaping net from a meter out.

Debutant Christian Pander lashed in what proved to be the winner five minutes before halftime, when Robinson was replaced by David James in what McClaren said was a pre-decided move.

"I haven't had a really good chance to study it," McClaren said of the 26th minute error.

"Of course it's disappointing to concede that goal, it may have been a mistake but there were two or three mistakes before that so I'm disappointed with that.

"It's only half an hour after the game, I need to look at the video ... I can't make any public comments about the keepers or any of the outfield players."

Robinson has been under pressure since last October's howler when he swung a wild boot at a Gary Neville back pass and saw it bobble beyond him and into his own net as England lost 2-0 to Croatia in a Euro 2008

qualifier.

McClaren also had concerns at the other end of the pitch where lax finishing allowed half a dozen decent opportunities to slip away.

"That was Michael Owen's first start and we know in a few weeks he'll be sharper," McClaren said of the rusty-looking striker returning after missing almost all of last season with a knee injury.

"But I'd be more disappointed if we hadn't created the chances. I thought in the first 20 minutes we were excellent overall and created chances, on another night we would have tucked them away."

It was not all doom for England, who still face an uphill challenge to secure qualification for next year's European championships, as they played some nice football at times and got behind the German defence.

They also benefited from a mature display from teenage defender Micah Richards, who set-up the much-needed goal for Lampard, another to feel the heat in internationals recently.

"I think that was an ideal game for us, a hard game physically - it was the fourth in 10 days for some of our players," McClaren told a news conference.

"I was delighted with the majority of it, the chances we created, but disappointed with the goals we conceded and the chances we missed."

Mitch Phillips
Source:
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