Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Beckham eyeing Croatia revenge

David Beckham today said he was looking for World Cup revenge on Croatia. The midfielder appeared as a substitute in last week's 3-2 defeat, which ended England's Euro 2008 hopes and Steve McClaren's reign as national manager.

At the 2010 World Cup qualifying draw in Durban, South Africa, the two sides were placed in Group Six along with Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Andorra.

Croatia beat England home and away during the Euro qualifiers but Beckham sees the next campaign as a chance to redress the balance.

"There's still some very tough teams in there and obviously we have to try to get our own back on Croatia," said the former England captain.

"But it's important that we go into the qualifiers now with a positive frame of mind, there's going to be a new manager in place by then I'm sure so we'll have to wait and see."

Beckham, in Sydney with the Los Angeles Galaxy for a series of friendly matches, also repeated his hope he will be able to reach 100 caps for his country as he still has the "experience and the passion".

The 32-year-old is just one short of the mark and said: "I know how things can change so quickly in the national team - eight months ago if someone had said to me that I'd be getting another cap and playing for England I probably wouldn't have believed them.

"But I was brought back in and got up to 99 caps and I want to go on from there. I believe that I can. I believe that I've got the experience and the passion still to play for my country. I hope that the next manager gives me that chance but we'll have to wait and see."

Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick insists he is not worried about the number of managers ruling themselves out of the running for the England job.

Aston Villa's Martin O'Neill, Sam Allardyce of Newcastle and West Ham chief Alan Curbishley have all said they will not leave their current posts.


Barwick said: "I'm not deterred - I'm determined to get the right person, the English footballing public is demanding that and it's my job to make sure we get that right."

He added that he understood the reaction of those fans who booed England players at Premier League games over the weekend.

"We know England fans are very disappointed and feel let down," said Barwick. "I can't support people being booed but they pay their money and if that's the way they wish to express it, I can understand it.

"I think a huge part of what comes next is managing the intensity of the occasions, we have to make sure the players go on to the pitch feeling really good about themselves.

"Something I can bring to the party is how we can better manage that."

Barwick will meet the FA's director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking on his return from South Africa to begin the process of finding McClaren's successor, but he would not be drawn on a time-frame or possible contenders.

Source: Daily Mail

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