Football: Beardsley backs cavalier style

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The Independent Online
FRIENDS AND former colleagues of Kevin Keegan were not surprised to hear that he had named an attacking line-up for his first game in charge of England.

The selection of Tim Sherwood, Paul Scholes and Steve McManaman in his midfield appears to be a clear indication that Keegan will maintain the attacking philosophy which has charcterised his club teams.

Peter Beardsley, who played alongside Keegan and under him at Newcastle, said: "Kevin likes to play attractive football and you can do it at international level. You only have to look at the football France played in the World Cup last summer. They scored goals and didn't concede and won the World Cup, so it is possible. Kevin has shown over the years that's the way he wants to play - and if anyone can pull it off, he can."

Keegan has chosen a strike partnership of Alan Shearer and Andy Cole, which has been given a ringing endorsement by the Newcastle defender, Steve Howey.

Howey, who has played with and against both players during his career, said: "Alan's maybe not the quickest man in the world but, for me, he's the best striker in the country. With Cole, they've got so much between them. I wouldn't like to be facing them. I think they will work very well together and cause a lot of problems for Poland."

Keegan's former Southampton colleague, Mick Channon, believes his friend knows only one way to play.

"It will certainly be a refreshing team," he said. "It looks like they will go for goals and let's hope they murder them."

Viv Anderson, Middlesbrough's assistant manager, believes the game is likely to be a close-run contest, but said: "Psychologically the fact that Poland haven't done well at Wembley over the years might just tip the balance, and I think we'll just win, maybe 1-0."

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