'That's the sort of result we have to get'

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The Independent Online
Terry Venables saw last night's match in Oslo as an encouraging step on the path to the European Championship finals, despite its poor entertainment value. "I couldn't see us losing the game," he said "It was us getting stronger, and if anyone was going to win the game it was going to be us. If we are going to qualify for World Cups and European Championships in the future we would be pleased with that. That's the sort of result we have got to get.

"We must start to realise looking at the past that if we start chasing the game we are going to get beaten. This is a team ranked fourth in the world unbeaten here for four years. We kept a professional shape. We could have linked a bit better but it wasn't bad. You won't get too many teams, Italy or Germany or whoever, coming here and making the pace."

Asked about the entertainment value, he said: "I have got to talk about results as well as entertainment. That's the difficult thing to do, to put the two together. I think we would have been pleased getting that result here last time.

"I think we have had a lot of entertaining games and we are getting it right. Everyone was saying what Norway were going to do to us and it didn't happen."

On the subject of Les Ferdinand's absence from the bench, Venables said: "I cover all positions with the substitutes. Sheringham was cover for Barmby and Shearer. It was atemptation to put both Teddy and Les on the bench and I might have done it at home but the last time I did that the full-backs got injured. I did the right thing."

The Norwegian manager, Egil Olsen, described the game as disappointing, and asked about England's attacking formation replied: "We prefer a more penetrative approach than England's. They didn't create many chances but then neither did we."