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TRIO IN ENGLAND SQUAD

Posted on 4 November 2005  - 12:00

Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone have been named in the England under-21 squad for the upcoming European Under-21 Championship play-off against France on Friday November 11 at White Hart Lane, kick-off 7.30pm.

Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone have been named in the England under-21 squad for the upcoming European Under-21 Championship play-off against France on Friday November 11 at White Hart Lane, kick-off 7.30pm.

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Joining the Spurs trio for the clash at the Lane are Darren Bent and Kieran Richardson. The return leg will be played at the Stade Marcel Picot in Nancy on Tuesday 15 November, with kick-off at 9pm local time.

Bent has an outstanding scoring record for the Under-21s, notching eight goals in 12 appearances, many of them as substitute, while Richardson has impressed in his four appearances of the left side of midfield.

Coach Peter Taylor said: “I’m delighted to have Darren and Kieran back in the squad. Both of them played an important part in getting us to the play-offs and players of their quality will certainly add to the squad.

“They have done extremely well to get into the senior squad but Sven and I both felt that it was important for them to be part of the Under-21s set-up for what will be two very testing matches. All the Under-21s players will be encouraged by the fact that if they perform well Sven is a manager who will give young players a chance.

We know France will be a tough challenge for us

France always produce outstanding young players and finished top of a very competitive group. However, we have played some really exciting attacking football this season and confidence is high.

“I know the Spurs players in particular will be looking forward to playing in front of their home crowd, and we will want to make home advantage count in the first leg.â€Â

Sven-Goran Eriksson said: “These play-off matches are big occasions and it was important for Darren and Kieran’s international experience to play against one of the best young teams in Europe. They are both still very much in part of my plans for the senior squad but I know they will be looking forward to showing what they can do in competitive games against top-class opposition.â€Â

England finished second in Group 6 behind Germany, finishing with 21 points after winning six, drawing three and losing one of their ten group matches.

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France won Group 4 which also included Switzerland, Israel, Republic of Ireland and Cyprus, winning six, drawing one and losing one of their eight matches. The French squad includes four English-based players: Arsenal full-back Gael Clichy, Chelsea midfielder Lassana Diarra, and strikers Anthony Le Tallec of Sunderland and Florent Sinama Pongolle of Liverpool.

The other play-offs pit Serbia & Montenegro against Croatia, Ukraine against Belgium, Russia against Denmark, Czech Republic against Germany, Slovenia against Holland, Hungary against title holders Italy, and Switzerland against Portugal.

The eight play-off winners qualify for next year's Championship, which will run from 25 May to 6 June. Italy and Portugal have bid to host the tournament.

Squad: Lee Camp (Derby), Scott Carson (Liverpool), Luke Steele (Manchester United), Leighton Baines (Wigan), Curtis Davies (WBA), Michael Dawson, Anton Ferdinand (West Ham), Justin Hoyte (Sunderland), Nedum Onuoha (Manchester City), Ryan Taylor (Wigan), Steven Taylor (Newcastle), Peter Whittingham (Derby), Darren Ambrose (Charlton), Tom Huddlestone, Aaron Lennon, James Milner (Aston Villa), Gary O'Neil (Portsmouth), Nigel Reo-Coker (West Ham), Kieran Richardson (Manchester United), Jerome Thomas (Charlton), John Welsh (Hull City), Dean Ashton (Norwich), Darren Bent (Charlton), Carlton Cole (Chelsea), Jerome Cameron (Cardiff), Luke Moore (Aston Villa).

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