Football: Taylor is confident of success

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PETER TAYLOR, the England Under-21 coach, is confident of success in tonight's European Championship qualifier against Poland at The Dell despite the loss of his main striker, Emile Heskey.

Taylor admits that the withdrawal from the squad of the Leicester player because of the recurrence of a back injury will be a problem, but believes his remaining forwards, Matt Jansen, Jason Euell, Michael Bridges and James Beattie can breach the Polish defence.

"It is a loss with Emile being out. If he had been fit and playing regularly he would have been in the senior squad because he's such a good player," Taylor said. "If we could have had him at 75 per cent of his capabilities he would still have been a handful for Poland, but we still have several good strikers in the squad. James Beattie did well in the second half against France and put himself about. It might be the sort of night where we've got to try and frighten the opposition a bit.

"This is a very experienced squad with a lot of players who are now playing regularly in the Premiership. There is a good spirit and the boys are up for the game," Taylor said.

England will virtually secure their place in the last 16 if they defeat Poland after winning their opening three group matches against Sweden, Bulgaria and Luxembourg.