Milutinovic keen to experiment

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The Independent Online
The Mexico manager Bora Milutinovic is likely to leave his England counterpart Glenn Hoddle feeling green with envy after revealing he never faces a club versus country conflict.

Hoddle has struggled to assemble an England squad thanks to an ever-increasing injury list and Premiership managers' reluctance to release players at a crucial stage of the season. Milutinovic is bemused by the problems England have faced. "In Mexico the clubs help us so much and there is no problem among the 20 clubs to release players," he said.

"My problem is there is not enough competition for places and so our team tends to stay the same. At least this friendly gives me a chance to experiment a little bit, bringing on some players from the Olympic team.

"I am sorry to hear Glenn Hoddle has so many injuries but there are so many good players in the English league that I would have thought the hardest thing for him was to choose his final 11 players. The competition for places in England is so good that Hoddle loses Alan Shearer but has Robbie Fowler as a replacement.

"Nobody likes to have another manager's problems, but what is the problem for Glenn? I looked down his list of players and he still has people from Manchester United, Newcastle and Liverpool. He is lucky he can call on the likes of Gareth Southgate, who was a star of Euro 96. I also like Steve McManaman, Stuart Pearce and Teddy Sheringham, who are all great players in the current squad."

Mexico visit Wembley with an impressive record under the Yugoslav Milutinovic. They have lost just one of their past 10 internationals, during which time they won the USA Cup, have occupied top spot in their World Cup qualifying group and, at 11th place in the Fifa rankings, stand one spot above England.

They will be without their most colourful player today, goalkeeper Jorge Campos, but there are plenty of others to capture the imagination in the Mexican side. The striker Carlos Hermosillo has scored seven goals in his past 11 internationals.

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