MacLeod calls for Gough's return

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Ally MacLeod yesterday urged the Scotland manager, Craig Brown, to forget his past differences with Richard Gough and recall the Rangers defender to his squad for Euro 96.

As Brown prepares to announce his 22-man squad today for a two-match trip to the United States, the former Scotland manager called for Gough's three-year international exile to end.

MacLeod, who took Scotland to the 1978 World Cup finals in Argentina, sees Gough, winner of 61 caps, as the ideal partner for Blackburn's Colin Hendry after helping Rangers to an eighth successive League title.

"At centre-half Colin Hendry would be ideal, but I would like to see him partnered by Gough, although I know that is unlikely," MacLeod said.

Brown seems certain to overlook the Rangers' captain, despite doubts about the fitness of team-mate Alan McLaren, who requires knee surgery at the end of the season, and Tottenham's Colin Calderwood. The Scotland manager is likely to name Derek Whyte, of Middlesbrough, as a stand-by defender for the tour games against the United States and Colombia.

MacLeod also urged Brown to opt for Leeds' Gary McAllister as captain alongside Celtic's John Collins in midfield, Hibernian veteran Jim Leighton as the No 1 goalkeeper and Aberdeen's Scott Booth in attack. "I would go with Jim Leighton in goal because I think he is a good positional goalkeeper and perhaps just edges the decision over Andy Goram," MacLeod said.

Michael Duberry, the Chelsea defender groomed for international stardom by England manager-in-waiting Glenn Hoddle, steps up for the England Under- 21s in in France later this month.

The 20-year-old from Enfield, outstanding at centre-half in Hoddle's sophisticated defence in his first full season, is the only uncapped player as England seek their fifth win in 10 attempts at the annual summer tournament in Toulon.

But at the start of a new two-year cycle - players born after 1 January, 1975 - most of Dave Sexton's 18-strong squad are relatively new at this level, having been introduced in last month's 1-0 defeat by Croatia at Sunderland, a game Duberry missed through domestic suspension.

The only experienced players include Manchester United first-team regulars, Nicky Butt and David Beckham, Newcastle's Chris Holland, the Queen's Park Rangers striker Kevin Gallen and Crystal Place's Bruce Dyer.

England, who also face Angola, Portugal and Brazil, won the competition in 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994. Proof of the tournament's value as a testbed for future senior players is provided by a glance at the team-sheet two years ago which included Robbie Fowler, Jamie Redknapp, Sol Campbell and Trevor Sinclair who are all senior squad players now.

ENGLAND UNDER-21 SQUAD (for tournament in Toulon this month): Day (Tottenham), Davis (Luton), Marshall (Norwich), Duberry (Chelsea), Rufus (Charlton), Scimeca (Aston Villa), Carbon (Derby County), Thatcher (Millwall), Briscoe (Sheffield Wednesday), Butt (Manchester United), Beckham (Manchester United), Holland (Newcastle), Bowyer (Charlton), Cooke (Manchester United), Eadie (Norwich), Gallen (Queen's Park Rangers), Dyer (Crystal Palace), Moore (Tranmere). Stand-by: Wright (Ipswich), O'Connor (Everton), Plummer (Queen's Park Rangers), Stuart (Charlton), Ford (Leeds), Brown (Manchester City), Thornley (Manchester United), Stamp (Middlesbrough), Hendrie (Aston Villa), Heskey (Leicester), Bridges (Sunderland).

TOULON FIXTURES: 24 May: v Belgium, (Toulon); 28 May v Angola (Cuers); 30 May v Portugal (Arles); 1 June v Brazil (Toulon, 20.45); 3 June: Final (Toulon).