Football: Jeffers is called up by Keegan

KEVIN KEEGAN handed the 18-year-old Everton striker Francis Jeffers an England call-up last night, after injuries led to six players pulling out of the squad to face Hungary in Wednesday's friendly.

The England coach also promoted Jeffers' Everton team-mate Michael Ball and Liverpool's Jamie Carragher from the Under-21 squad.

Keegan has had to cope the withdrawals through injury of Andy Cole, Paul Scholes, Sol Campbell, Graeme Le Saux, Gareth Southgate and Jonathon Woodgate. Jeffers, who scored in Everton's 4-1 win over Charlton on Saturday, has only broken into the Goodison first team this season.

Going into the second game in his short-term tenure as national coach, Keegan had agreed not to select David Beckham, Gary Neville, Tony Adams and Ray Parlour after consulting with their respective managers, Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, about which players needed to be rested.

Now his plans have been thrown into further disarray by the loss through injury of six men. Manchester United confirmed that Cole and Scholes had been withdrawn because of knee and ankle injuries respectively after yesterday's 1-1 draw at Elland Road. Cole played the whole game and scored United's 56th-minute equaliser, while Woodgate suffered an injury to his right knee trying to block his shot.

Tottenham's Campbell is carrying a hamstring injury and was withdrawn after Saturday's 2-1 defeat by West Ham. Le Saux has a knee injury and did not play in Chelsea's goalless draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough yesterday, while Southgate played in Villa's win over Forest but has withdrawn because of an ankle injury.

The Leicester City defender Matt Elliott last night pulled out of the Scotland squad to play Germany in Wednesday's friendly in Bremen.

Elliott suffered knee ligament damage in his club's 1-0 Premiership victory against Coventry on Saturday. His absence is another blow for the Scotland manager, Craig Brown, who has already lost David Hopkin of Leeds with an ankle injury. The Celtic pair Craig Burley and Jackie McNamara are both doubtful for the friendly against the European champions. "I won't bring in any replacements at the moment," Brown said.

The Northern Ireland manager Lawrie McMenemy has lost seven players for tomorrow's friendly against Canada at Windsor Park. Steve Morrow, Keith Gillespie, Damien Johnson, Neil Lennon and Alan Fettis have all withdrawn with injuries while McMenemy has also allowed the Bournemouth striker Stephen Robinson and Watford defender Peter Kennedy to stay at their clubs.

Aidan Davison, Gerry Taggart and Jim Magilton have cried off from the standby list. Magilton, the Ipswich playmaker, has a hamstring injury. McMenemy has called up four players, including the Irish League pair Rory Hamill of Glentoran and Linfield's Glenn Ferguson. His other two new men are Dundee United's Darren Patterson and Paul McVeigh of Tottenham.

The Leeds defender Ian Harte, who has a back injury, has withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad to meet Sweden in Wednesday's friendly in Dublin. No replacement has been called up.

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