Football: Hamstring injury rules out Dyer

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The Independent Online
KIERON DYER, the Ipswich Town midfielder, has been forced to withdraw from the England Under-21 squad for tonight's European Championship qualifier against Luxembourg in Grevenmacher.

Dyer, a recent transfer target for Newcastle United, has a hamstring injury picked up in Friday's 1-0 win over Bulgaria at Upton Park. He has been a regular member of Peter Taylor's side since making his debut against Moldova just over 12 months ago.

The young Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Stephen Clemence, who made his Under-21 debut as a substitute in Sweden last month, has also withdrawn with an ankle injury. Despite the injuries, Taylor is happy with the strength of his squad and will not be calling up any replacements.

The Crystal Palace striker, Matt Jansen, believes his club manager, Terry Venables, can help him make the step up to the senior squad. Jansen again impressed for England Under-21s side in the win over Bulgaria at Upton Park, and he is now looking to continue to develop his flourishing partnership with Leicester's Emile Heskey tonight.

"I had a few chances on Friday and thought the shot I had from 25 yards, which hit the post, was going in," Jansen said. "On another occasion we could easily have knocked in three or four goals, but the main thing was that the three points have put us in a strong position in the group.

"Emile Heskey is good to play alongside. We've played a couple of games in tandem and haven't scored yet, but I am sure it will only be a matter of time before that happens because we link up so well. Hopefully, against Luxembourg, we can both get on the scoresheet."

Referring to Venables, Jansen said: "He has been a big help to me at Palace, but it doesn't need me to say just how good he is as a coach. He's one of the reasons why I recently signed a new long-term contract. He's brought me on a lot and with him charge at Palace I've got no problems with developing in the right way at club level to help me on the international scene. He's got so much experience."

Jansen believes that the Under-21s are reaping the benefit of being together for nearly a fortnight, even if it means him getting stick from some of the other Palace players.

"They keep telling me about all the rounds of golf they are playing and the days off they are having, but this 12 days with the Under-21s is great for team spirit and also being able to analyse things, like Friday's game," he said. "Normally, after a match, you say cheerio for a couple of months."