Howey is the only doubt for Venables


Terry Venables, the England coach, names his final squad for Euro 96 on Wednesday but yesterday he insisted that nothing he saw in the 1-0 win against the Hong Kong Golden Select XI had changed his mind. Only injuries would have done that and England came through unscathed.

The Newcastle defender Steve Howey is waiting to see if his calf problem will make it one less decision for the England coach. But Paul Gascoigne (blister), Robert Lee (calf) and Dennis Wise (groin) have only minor irritations which will not affect his selection.

"There were those who could - and have - done very well out here," Venables said. "It's not changed my mind. I've known for a long time that some things are very clear and others are a bit tight, and I decided to wait and see. The trip has helped me make a few decisions.

"And the fact that the three 'injured' players - Shearer, Adams and Anderton - have had these games and come through them is a big plus. We're all very happy with the trip."

Venables admitted the Hong Kong game was poor but added: "Everyone wants a real good win but you can't have football matches all your own way. They're not going to just lay down for us to score five or six goals. They deserve a lot of credit. Bryan Robson was telling me an AC Milan side only beat them 1-0 recently so they can't be all bad."

Venables disputed the suggestion that his players were affected by the fact that this was not an international. "You must write it as you see it," he said. "There are players out there wanting to do well because players who played in their position the other night did really well. No one's confident enough to take their foot off the accelerator. They know that would be foolish."