FOOTBALL: Big task for young guns - Keegan



First published in Sport Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

KEVIN Keegan reckons a lack of big-match experience is likely to be the undoing of England’s young guns at the World Cup.

However, former England boss Keegan feels that with a good tournament behind them they will be a different proposition altogether going into the next major competition.

Speaking to Echosport at an awards function in Dorchester, Keegan said Roy Hodgson’s men “will have done a great job” if they reach the quarter-finals in Brazil.

“I’m hoping they do very well, obviously,” said Keegan, who managed his country from February 1999 to October 2000.

“I think he (Roy Hodgson) will play a lot of young players but I think they will struggle with the experience side of it.

“The experience will do them good and if the young players do well then in two years’ time you might be more optimistic.”

England open their campaign in Group D against Italy on Saturday and several of the younger players in the squad could well be involved in Manaus.

Commenting further, Keegan added: “There are better teams there than us at the moment, but that doesn’t mean to say you can’t win it.

“The group stage is going to be hard with Italy, Uruguay and then Costa Rica.

“If we get through that and get to the quarters then I think they will have done a great job, bearing in mind the really good players are getting older and the young players aren’t quite ready yet.”

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