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No regrets on Walcott

15 Jun 2006 - 07:54:07

Sven-Goran Eriksson has claimed he does not regret his decision to include Arsenal striker Theo Walcott in England's World Cup squad.

Eriksson opted to use midfielder Joe Cole as a striker after taking off Michael Owen during last weekend's 1-0 win against Paraguay, prompting suggestions he had reached the conclusion the 17-year-old is not ready for international football.

However, the Swede insisted he was happy with Walcott and that the youngster would play in Germany, possibly even as soon as Thursday's Group B clash against Trinidad & Tobago.

"My intention is that Walcott, sooner or later during the World Cup, will play a part. Absolutely," said the England head coach.

"Will there be a chance for him on Thursday if Owen does not complete 90 minutes? There could be - but you must understand it is very difficult to decide on something like that until the game gets underway.

"You have to consider things like 'are we winning, are we suffering, are we playing wonderful football?' Whatever. The timing has to be right.

"I can't guarantee when. You can't plan like that, that I will put him on for 45 or 60 minutes or whenever. We are not talking about friendly games here. We are talking about going further in the World Cup."

Walcott became England's youngest ever full international when he came on as a substitute during the second half of the World Cup warm-up match against Hungary last month.


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