Football: Hendrie's display admired by Hoddle

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TWO YOUNGSTERS furthered ambitions of establishing themselves in England's full international side as the Under-21s beat Luxembourg in their European Championship qualifier in Grevenmacher on Tuesday.

Aston Villa's Lee Hendrie capped another inventive performance by scoring the opening goal in the 5-0 win, his first at Under-21 level, while Frank Lampard, the England captain and West Ham midfielder, scored for the third successive international to put the icing on another purposeful display.

The watching Glenn Hoddle and John Gorman, his assistant, must have been impressed by the duo as England maintained their 100 per-cent record in the group.

"I think the players in the squad know Glenn Hoddle will give anyone a chance," Peter Taylor, the England Under-21 coach, said. "I drum that into them - if they keep performing. Hopefully, a few more will be promoted. I would miss them but I'd also be very pleased.

"Lee Hendrie has got great potential. If he carries on performing as well as he has done for us and Aston Villa then he is going to do himself no harm. I know Glenn Hoddle likes him a lot because he is a very talented player. As for Frank Lampard, the last couple of games have seen him play very well for us. To be honest, I thought before last Friday's game against Bulgaria he wasn't producing as he should be, but he has been excellent since then."

England are in a strong position to qualify after winning their opening three matches, and Tuesday's result was never in doubt once Hendrie had broken the deadlock. Arsenal's Matthew Upson, who put in an impressive performance at the heart of the defence, finished off Luxembourg's hopes of a comeback with the second goal in first-half injury time. Lampard drilled home a low, 20-yard effort for the third, followed by two late strikes from Wimbledon's Carl Cort.

The only disappointment for England came in the 68th minute, when Chelsea's Jody Morris was sent off for a high tackle. Taylor defended him, saying: "It was a harsh decision, at best worth a booking. Their player made a meal of it - as if he had been shot in both arms, both legs, his head and his neck.

"Unfortunately, you sometimes have to put up with that sort of thing in international football and I felt sorry for Jody because I only brought him on to give him some action."

England Under-18s warmed up for next month's European Championship qualifiers when they beat Italy 4-2 in a friendly international in Rome on Tuesday.

Two goals from Everton's Jamie Milligan helped Howard Wilkinson's side follow up last month's 5-0 victory in Dublin over the Republic of Ireland, the Uefa champions. Aston Villa's Darius Vassell, who scored twice in his club's Uefa Cup win over Stromsgodset last month, was also on the mark to make it three goals in two games for his country. The rout was rounded off by Liverpool's Steve Gerrard.