Football: Healer credited for England success

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The Independent Online
By Catherine Riley

GLENN HODDLE yesterday continued his policy of open management by crediting some of England's World Cup qualification success to faith healer Eileen Drewery.

"It's a very personal thing but it's one that works," the England coach said. "Anybody who sees her will gain, whether it's a physical or mental problem. She has contributed and it was only fair to her and everyone else that we brought this out in the open. She has contributed to our qualifying. She was involved way way back in the Moldova game.

"We've two masseuses, two physios, two doctors and Eileen. People should be thinking that's pretty professional. I'd used Eileen for many years when I was manager at Swindon and Chelsea. I would not have been doing my job right in many ways if I hadn't used it for England."

But Hoddle was not so fulsome in his praise of Paul Gascoigne, whom he was quick to defend last week. "I want to give Paul an opportunity to learn and open his mind a little bit. I think he is falling back a little bit now. He's not 100 per cent fit so I can't say at this time he's 100 per cent in the squad. Certain things worry me, but there are certain things I see that show he's still got the genius in him."

Hoddle also explained his decision to include Ian Wright ahead of Andy Cole. "Andy's had a very good season, but sometimes you feel he needs four or five chances before he scores.

"Although Andy's movement is excellent, Ian is the best mover off the ball I have seen in England. I wanted to play Andy against Chile but he woke up with a back problem and didn't play. Then Switzerland came up and I wanted to go with Michael Owen. So the door closed."