Football: Hoddle's hope for strugglers
As he headed to England's pre-finals training camp here, the England coach intimated that if Ian Wright, Paul Gascoigne and Darren Anderton proved their fitness they would be in the 22 for France 98.
"I want my quality players, and Gazza's quality," Hoddle said yesterday. "But he's going to have to be fit, and it's the same with Darren and Wrighty, they're going to have to be 100 per cent fit. The good thing is that Paul's not carrying an injury any longer, nor is Wrighty or Darren, their problems are over."
Wright and Anderton have overcome hamstring and groin injuries, while Gascoigne is coming back from ankle and knee injuries. The only two of Hoddle's party who do have slight injuries are Graeme Le Saux (calf) and Paul Ince (ankle).
Anderton started Saturday's match against Saudi Arabia at Wembley, his first England game since Euro 96, while Wright and Gascoigne, who both came on after an hour, had not played since the night in Rome when England secured a place in the finals. All enhanced their prospects.
Hoddle said: "I was pleased with Wrighty on Saturday because he looked sharp. He's been injured but it might turn out to be a slight blessing in disguise. He's 34 now, and if he'd had a long hard season at that age he might've been a bit jaded."
Hoddle also had positive news of Gascoigne. Last week, he said the midfielder was only 40 per cent match fit. "He's more than 60 per cent fit now," he said. "He came on last week and pushed it on a bit and here in La Manga, and Morocco as well, we've got an ideal climate for working. I don't know how much I can expect of him by 15 June, but he's fitter than he was when he arrived with us."
Latest in Sport
Lionel Messi dumps Jerome Boateng: The moment two-goal hero made Bayern Munich defender look like 'baby in a playpen'
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich match report: Lionel Messi double and Neymar strike put Barca on course for Champions League final
Floyd Mayweather mocks Manny Pacquiao: 'Winners win and losers have excuses'
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings
Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City in top eight of Forbes Rich List
- 1 Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf
- 2 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 3 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 4 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
- 5 Watch eerie drone footage of destroyed building in Stalingrad
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...