Graham Taylor says Roy Hodgson is right to give Charlie Austin, Jamie Vardy and Tom Heaton the chance to impress for England.
QPR striker Austin, Leicester City forward Vardy and Burnley goalkeeper Heaton were all picked in Hodgson’s squad for Sunday’s friendly with the Republic of Ireland and next weekend’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Slovenia.
The selection of the uncapped trio has raised eyebrows, but former England boss Taylor told Perform: “I remember Kevin Keegan saying to me it took him 10 games before he felt he was an international player and that’s Kevin Keegan, one of the greatest players England produced.
“I always remembered that and I found myself that there were certain players who at club level you think ‘He’s got to be picked for the international team’ and yet when you picked them for the international team, they couldn’t handle it.
“Everybody finds that out, when you come on to the international scene you’re at the highest level of football.
“Some players just accept it, they’re fine at it, other players find it a bit nervous and don’t quite deliver what they’ve been delivering at club level.
“The only way you find out whether players are going to be good enough for the international scene is to give them a chance, give them an opportunity.”
Graham Taylor was speaking in his role as a Football Foundation Ambassador at the opening of a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) at the Belper Leisure Centre, Derbyshire. The pitch was made possible thanks to a £207,221 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, a three-year £102m commitment to improving the nation’s grassroots football facilities.
The Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.
Graham Taylor is an Ambassador for the Football Foundation who are celebrating their 15-year anniversary. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has supported 13,000 grassroots sport projects with grants worth £520m and leveraged £736m in additional partnership funding, thereby delivering schemes with a total project cost of £1.24bn into the grassroots game.
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