FA ready to review England role of Curbishley

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The Independent Online

The Football Association has suggested that plans to accommodate the Charlton Athletic manager, Alan Curbishley, under England's coaching umbrella could be revived.

Curbishley yesterday revealed his disappointment at being neglected by the country's football hierarchy following a series of informal talks with the FA technical director, Howard Wilkinson, last season.

Although the actual position available was never defined, Curbishley, at the behest of his club chairman Richard Murray, declined to be involved in Sven Goran Eriksson's coaching pool – which included Peter Taylor, of Leicester City, and Middlesbrough's Steve McClaren – until the Addicks' future in the Premiership was assured.

Curbishley, who is overseeing Charlton's pre-season tour of Scandinavia, admitted he craved the chance to work at international level. The FA responded by claiming it would be willing to again contact the 43-year-old manager.

"He is one of the country's most promising managers," said an FA spokesman. "If there is a way of integrating him into the wider England set-up in a manner that's acceptable to all parties – to him and also his club – we would certainly not rule it out."

Curbishley, who steered Charlton to ninth, their highest since recording the same position in 1953-54, said: "Nothing has happened and I am not going to go chasing after it. But I would have liked to have been around the national team in an observer's role just to see how it works.

"It is a bit disappointing because an English manager cannot be guaranteed European experience unless they are with a top-five or six club and last season not one of the teams in those positions was managed by an Englishman. The only other way to get that sort of experience is by mixing in those situations and being around the big tournaments. I don't think you can really judge the England set-up from the outside, you have got to be involved in it."

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