Football / World Cup: 'I'm shocked by that kind of performance'

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The Independent Online
GRAHAM TAYLOR offered no excuses, only disappointment, after the match. 'I am shocked by that kind of performance for what was an important game for English football. The performance was way, way below what is expected from an England team in any football game. It's a performance that will make people back home very angry. I feel exactly the same way as them.'

When asked about his future as England manager, Taylor retorted: 'You'll have to ask my employers about that.' He justified his tactical and team changes, saying: 'I felt it might help us to look after Norway's direct approach to the game. I also thought it would help to threaten the Norway defence. 'But some of our players seemed to lack the confidence to want the ball and to dictate the game. Sometimes it's hard to come up with reasons - you can lose a match but it's the manner of losing which is disappointing. As a manager, I take responsibility for results but you cannot take responsibility for performance.'

But he insists all is not over: 'It's a harder task but the issue will not be decided until the autumn. The trip to the US now takes on even more importance in terms of rebuilding confidence and morale.'

His Norwegian counterpart, Egil Olsen, had confidence and morale to spare: 'We ran the show in the first half,' he said. 'We moved fast and we worked hard. This win was completely deserved. We played a perfect game. Today we were closer to 3-0 than England was to 2-1.'