Super sub's display is one of many delights

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The Independent Online
Terry Venables paid tribute to his substitute Steve Stone after England's convincing victory over Switzerland at Wembley last night.

The Nottingham Forest midfield player, who made an impressive debut in the dour 0-0 stalemate against Norway in Oslo last month, was called off the bench after just six minutes when Jamie Redknapp pulled up with a suspected hamstring strain.

Stone responded with a promising display capped with the third goal after Yvan Quentin's own goal and Teddy Sheringham had cancelled out Adrian Knup's opener.

"Steve's passing and crossing were excellent after he came on," Venables said. "I had him at a get-together we had at Aston Villa last year and he impressed me - he's a very good player. Once the first goal went in the crowd got behind the team and that lifted them."

Stone himself said: "I was a bit worried the boss might bring Peter Beardsley on when Jamie came off because of my lack of experience, and I'm glad he kept faith with me. I was told to go on and try and cause them a few problems down the right, which I think I did. It's a great honour to play for England and I hope to win more caps."

Venables was also delighted with Alan Shearer's blossoming partnership with Sheringham, although the Blackburn striker extended his goalless England run to nine games.

"I thought Alan and Teddy did well. We created a lot of chances and won the game convincingly in the end - 3-1 is a good score," Venables said. Asked about Shearer's barren run, he added: "We want to win games - it doesn't matter who scores.

"We were at home and had to take the initiative like we did against Colombia. It was tight, particularly in the first half, but in the second half I thought we improved."

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