Brooking expects FA to name new manager 'soon'

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The Independent Online

Sir Trevor Brooking has refused to put a timescale on the naming of Sven Goran Eriksson's successor as England coach but said he hoped an announcement would be made "sooner rather than later".

Charlton's Alan Curbishley, who is still thought to be among the front-runners, this week complained about the Football Association's drawn-out selection process. Reports have also suggested that the FA's chief executive, Brian Barwick, is preparing to make a decision as early as next week, with Middlesbrough's Steve McClaren the favourite.

However, Brooking, who as the FA's director of football development will be part of the selection committee, was giving nothing away as he opened Crystal Palace's new indoor Academy facility yesterday.

"It's something we have to leave to Brian," he said. "It's moving on and hopefully it will be resolved sooner rather than later."

Brooking did back England's injured players to make use of the month's preparation before the World Cup finals start in June to ensure they are fit. The Arsenal defenders Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell have suffered injury-ravaged seasons, while the Spurs centre-half Ledley King and Charlton full-back Luke Young have recently been injured.

"It's always the same, we remember what happened last time out," Brooking said. "But Sol is back playing now and Ashley has a game lined up. Ledley and Luke aren't out of the equation yet and you've got to give them every opportunity before the medical people and Sven have to make a decision.

"The beauty this time is that the season ends a month before it all kicks off," he added, "so there should be some decent opinions to be taken on who can be there and who can't - but it's too early to jump to any conclusions."

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