Nemeth decides to reinstate Gordon

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The Independent Online
Lazlo Nemeth, the England coach, put more pressure on himself at this week's European Championship qualifying tournament at Birmingham's NEC by dropping his most experienced playmaker, Karl Brown, and replacing him with the 6ft 9in Trevor Gordon.

Nemeth revealed he had brought Gordon, the Manchester Giants centre, into the team after deciding on Monday night to leave the experienced international on the sidelines in what he described as "the most difficult decision of my career".

When Nemeth went to break the news at a team meeting in their hotel he discovered that Brown had not attended. Nemeth, a Hungarian, then ditched the London Leopards player and reinstated Gordon.

Nemeth denied Brown's omission was a disciplinary measure, but hinted at "problems off court" and then laid a smokescreen by saying that the 6ft 4in guard also had some minor injuries.

Gordon found his international career suddenly resurrected despite missing most of the preparation period after having his jaw damaged in an international against the Netherlands two weeks ago.

Nemeth had already placed himself under pressure before this incident. Knowing England must finish in the top three in the six-nation event to qualify for the semi-final rounds, he has a letter of resignation ready to post to his employers, the English Basketball Association, if his team fail.