'I couldn't ask for any more from the players'

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The Independent Online

England's caretaker coach, Peter Taylor, admitted last night he would relish another game in charge of the national side. He took control at Turin's Stadio delle Alpi while the England coach-elect Sven-Goran Eriksson watched from the stands as Gennaro Gattuso's spectacular goal condemned England to a 1-0 defeat.

England's caretaker coach, Peter Taylor, admitted last night he would relish another game in charge of the national side. He took control at Turin's Stadio delle Alpi while the England coach-elect Sven-Goran Eriksson watched from the stands as Gennaro Gattuso's spectacular goal condemned England to a 1-0 defeat.

If the Football Association fail to persuade Lazio to let Eriksson take charge of England's next game - a friendly against Spain at Villa Park on 28 February - they can turn to the caretaker again. "I've enjoyed the three days and, as long as it doesn't affect Leicester City, I'm happy to help out where I can," Taylor said.

The Leicester manager felt England had deserved at least a draw but said: "The result is not important because it's a friendly. The performance is the most important thing and that's what we've got out of the game.

"The players worked very hard. They were very solid at the back and they passed it alright at times. I couldn't ask for any more from them."

Taylor felt England might have had a penalty when Gattuso barged over David Beckham in the area but had no complaints that the Italian escaped punishment when he slapped the England captain seconds later.

"I think perhaps it was a penalty near the end but I haven't seen the replay," said Taylor. "Because it was a friendly the ref decided not to take any action [against Gattuso]."

Taylor believed Beckham had relished being captain for the first time, saying: "I think he's enjoyed the responsibility that we've given him."

He did not expect to have a chance to talk to Eriksson about the game until the squad was back in England. "I think he's got lots of people from Lazio with him so I'm going to get on the coach back to the airport," he said.

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