McClaren calls for Heskey
02 Sep 2007 - 17:38:43
England head coach Steve McClaren has called Wigan Athletic striker Emile Heskey into his squad for the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Russia at Wembley.
McClaren has opted to recall Heskey due to Peter Crouch's absence through suspension for the Israel clash next Saturday, having seen Michael Owen impress for Newcastle alongside Mark Viduka and Shola Ameobi at the weekend.
"Emile is a player with a lot international experience and has played many times with Michael Owen in the past," McClaren said.
"He's been in good form for Wigan this season, he played very well against Sunderland and I saw him play well against Newcastle yesterday.
"While he has been out of the squad for a few years, I've spoken with Chris Hutchings who has been hugely impressed with him and I think he deserves to be recalled. We need his experience at this time."
Heskey has won 43 caps for England to date, but has not featured since the European Championship finals in the summer of 2004.
Meanwhile, McClaren admits that Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is likely to miss both qualifiers due to a thigh problem, but remains hopeful that Liverpool's Steven Gerrard will recover from a foot problem to feature.
He told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek: "Frank's had a scan and our medical people are liaising with those at Chelsea and then we'll assess the situation on Monday.
"We will see how severe it is, but it's looking very doubtful at the moment.
"I've spoken to Steven and we are liaising with Liverpool. We're not going to take any risks over him, but he wants to play and we want him to play for the two games.
"He's making good progress. We will assess him again during the week, but I fully expect him to be available for the two games. I am confident he will play."