Give Green a chance - Royle

By Derek DavisChief Football WriterBLUES boss Joe Royle has urged Sven-Goran Eriksson to play Norwich City keeper Robert Green against Sweden tonight.

By Derek Davis

Chief Football Writer

BLUES boss Joe Royle has urged Sven-Goran Eriksson to play Norwich City keeper Robert Green against Sweden tonight.

Royle welcomed Green's inclusion into the England squad but feels Eriksson must go one stage further and actually test the 24-year-old stopper in the last friendly international before Euro 2004 in Portugal.


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The Ipswich Town manager and ex-England international striker was due to fly to Sweden this morning as part of the BBC commentary team and is hoping to see the keeper, who has kept 15 clean sheets in 40 appearances this season in action.

He said: "Green has done well and I'm glad to see he has got a call-up. He has been outstandingly consistent this season.

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"I just hope now that as Sven has brought him in he takes the opportunity to have a look at him in the game.

"Otherwise, if he does not play some part of the game there would seem to be little point in taking him.

"I could see how England would want to give him experience of being in the set-up if it was 12 months ago but we are running out of time now.

"It is the last game before the Europeans so it would be a good time to look at him.

"David James is definitely going to go and Sven already knows all there is to about Paul Robinson, Nigel Martyn and Ian Walker, so it would be a good idea to give Green a go."

Since David Seaman announced his retirement there has been a dearth of top-class keepers for England to call upon with injury afflicting the likes of Richard Wright and Chris Kirkland.

"I feel sorry for Kirkland as he seemed the answer a while ago but he has had injuries," Royle added.

"I remember when I was at Man City and Nicky Weaver was coming along strong with Richard Wright but both have fallen by the wayside.

"If ever there was a need for a goalkeeper to come through it is now. We have always been well off for keepers in England.

"James does not seem to have much competition so if Green does come through, then congratulations to him and he should be given his chance.

"I'm sorry if that does upset some Blues fans but we have to be fair about it."

Town striker Shefki Kuqi is due to win his 34th cap for Finland tonight in a friendly in Malta.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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