Toulon showing a treat for Taylor

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The England coach Peter Taylor signed off from the Toulon Under-20 tournament in a positive mood after his young charges claimed third place. An injury-time goal by the Preston striker David Nugent gave England a 1-1 draw with Mexico in the third-place play-off and took the game to penalties, where England triumphed 3-2.

The England coach Peter Taylor signed off from the Toulon Under-20 tournament in a positive mood after his young charges claimed third place. An injury-time goal by the Preston striker David Nugent gave England a 1-1 draw with Mexico in the third-place play-off and took the game to penalties, where England triumphed 3-2.

Taylor felt that was the least England deserved, not just on Friday night's display but on their overall performance in the competition, where they also beat Tunisia and South Korea while losing 1-0 to Portugal and losing in the semi-finals on penalties to France, the eventual winners.

"The togetherness of the group was excellent and I thought we played well," Taylor said. "We had a lot of people who hadn't been with one of the international squads before so it has been a worthwhile exercise."

Getting their first call-up were Colchester's Greg Halford, Hull's Scott Wiseman, Barnsley's Scott Flinders, Tom Soares of Crystal Palace and Nugent, with Halford the most impressive newcomer.

However, Taylor called for them to continue the good work they showed. "They've got to grab the opportunity," he added. "They've got to work even harder to make sure they get invited to the next Under-21 squad."

Taylor was reluctant to put pressure on Tom Huddlestone by saying he could become a future star for England but many observers at the tournament think he will be.

The Tottenham-bound youngster received one of the individual honours, decided by man-of-the-match nominations from coaches, journalists, scouts and the organising committee throughout the competition.

The fourth-best player award may not sound much, but when you consider many of the players at Toulon become senior internationals, it shows just how highly the 18-year-old was regarded.

Huddlestone has impressed with his composure in defence, along with his ability to switch between centre-back and central midfield.

"He's shown a good attitude and has played very well here," said Taylor. "He can play in both positions and we're still not 100 per cent sure which is his best.

"The Premiership will be a big test but I'm hopeful he'll be a success there."

Comments