Football: Dyer swagger delights Keegan

England coach is fulsome in his praise for young Newcastle talent who strides out at right-back today.

WHATEVER CONCERNS there may be surrounding Kieron Dyer's debut for England today in his first appearance at Wembley, lack of confidence is not likely to be one of them. Not even playing out of position, it seems, is going to worry him.

"I'm happy to play anywhere," he said, with the national manager sitting alongside for Dyer's first media inquisition as an England player. "I like to play in centre midfield - but, in saying that, I like to play right-back now." Which is just as well.

Playing in his preferred position, Dyer has been an outstanding member of England's Under-21 side over the past two seasons, not to mention the Ipswich team that has narrowly missed promotion to the Premiership for three successive years. Despite his vowed intention to remain with his home-town club through thick and thin, Ipswich's latest play-off failure was Dyer's final involvement with the club as a pounds 6m move to Newcastle United proved irresistible.

No sooner had he arrived at St James' Park, however, than Dyer might have been excused for wondering what he had let himself in for. But he insisted yesterday that Ruud Gullit's departure and the arrival of another former Ipswich favourite, Bobby Robson, as manager has had little effect on him and it is certainly true that Dyer was one of the few Newcastle players to emerge with any credit from the 5-1 mauling by Manchester United earlier this week.

"It hasn't been unsettling for me because I'm young and I just want to play football," Dyer said. "But now that we've got a new manager, hopefully he can change it around. For a club of Newcastle's size it's been a disappointing season."

Keegan himself had no qualms about giving the 20-year-old his debut. "Absolutely no doubt in my mind," the England manager said. "I've seen him improve an awful lot from when he started at Ipswich. I believe he's one of these players who you can put in four or five different positions and his training has been superb.

"I saw his game against Tottenham at White Hart Lane where I thought he did two great jobs: he tracked David Ginola back and then he got forward and I thought his first-half performance was as good as you will ever see from a 20-year-old. I think he's a real star of the future because he's got his feet on the floor. I can see him staying in the side if he produces. He has enough confidence without being cocky."

The confidence Keegan refers to was evident enough yesterday. "No disrespect to Luxembourg, but it's a great game to make you debut," he said.

"Being in the England squad I haven't looked out of place and that in itself has given me the confidence. Having said that, if we were playing Brazil in Rio then you would see a different young man in front of you; I'd be on the toilet."

Against Luxembourg, Dyer is likely to be asked to push forward as much as possible on the right-hand side, something which should come naturally to such an attacking player. "When I first broke into the first team at Ipswich they played me at right-back and wing-back," he said. "I liked it at right-back because one of my biggest assets is my energy. I bomb forward quite a lot, overlapping and getting good crosses in. Hopefully I can do the same for England."

Dyer was called up for his country once before under Glenn Hoddle without making the team and, when he heard the news of his elevation, he was understandably beside himself. "The manager told me yesterday morning but the problem was we were going off to training straight away," he said. "It was so hard keeping it inside, I just wanted to run upstairs in the hotel and get on the phone. But I had to wait two hours. As soon as I was back I think I was on the phone for two-and-a-half hours, ringing up every friend. It was just unbelievable. I wish the game was today, that's how excited I am about it. I felt playing at Old Trafford was going to be the biggest highlight of my week but I was wrong."

The contrast between England's two full-backs today could hardly be greater with Stuart Pearce, nearly twice Dyer's age and a very different character, playing on the left. "Stuart is one of those who's psyching himself up before every game," Dyer said, reflecting upon the brief spell when their paths crossed at Newcastle. "I'm very relaxed, just sitting in the corner usually with my headphones on listening to garage-type music."

Whatever happens today and in the future for Dyer, he is determined it will be an occasion to remember. "I think there are 17 members of my family coming up for the game so it will be a big day for me and a big day for them as well," he said.

News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
Sport
Sean Abbott
cricketSean Abbott is named Australia's young cricketer of the year
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Partnership Sales Executive - TV

competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: An award-winning global multi-media...

Sauce Recruitment: Account Director

£26017.21 - £32521.19 per annum + OTE $90,000: Sauce Recruitment: My client is...

Recruitment Genius: Linux Systems Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of UK Magento hosting so...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Development Manager - North Kent - OTE £19K

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea