Pair earn McClaren praise

09 September 2007 12:11
England coach Steve McClaren singled out Shaun Wright-Phillips and Emile Heskey for special praise after the 3-0 Euro 2008 qualifying victory over Israel. Wright-Phillips has been in fine form for Chelsea during the opening weeks of the new season and justified his inclusion on the right-side of midfield with an energetic display which was rounded off by the 20th minute opener. The Chelsea wideman, who stepped up to the starting line-up after David Beckham was ruled out with a knee injury, ghosted in on the back post and found the top of the net with a rising half-volley to break the deadlock. "There was a lot of pressure on Shaun Wright-Phillips today," claimed McClaren. "People have seen his good form for Chelsea and were disappointed with him last season, but he has really come to the fore and it was an excellent performance today." Meanwhile, McClaren was delighted with the display of Heskey on his recall to the international fold. The Wigan Athletic striker was given a fresh chance to impress due to Wayne Rooney's injury and Peter Crouch's suspension and took it with both hands before being replaced on 71 minutes. Heskey linked up well with Michael Owen and should have put himself on the scoresheet during an all-action performance. "Emile Heskey is a handful," continued McClaren. "We knew that from the beginning and we played to it. "Emile said he would take his chance and he did. He is more mature now and handles the situation a lot better."

Source: ESA