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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 25, 2006

Eriksson confirms Green's World Cup KO

England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson confirmed Robert Green's World Cup hopes are over.

Green was carried off with a suspected torn groin muscle - which gifted Belarus their equaliser - five minutes after coming on as a sub.

And Eriksson said on Sky Sports: 'He's almost certainly out. He's got a scan tomorrow and that will confirm it.

'It's a pity for him - but Scott Carson (Green's replacement) is a good keeper and he showed that today.'

As for Wayne Rooney, Eriksson insisted he did not know the outcome of the player's scan - and expects to find out tomorrow.

He explained: 'It will be huge for all the country if he can be ready during the World Cup - before, I don't know.

'We'll know tomorrow morning. I have no information at all - I don't think even Manchester United know the information today.'

On tonight's performance, the Swede insisted 'there are a lot of positives' to take from the match.

He said: 'Take the senior players - Michael Owen did well for one hour, more or less. He is fit. We didn't want him to play anymore - he wanted to I suppose, but we have two games next week.

'Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell played 90 minutes and Peter Crouch looked very well. The senior players looked fit - and that is very important.'

As for the younger members of his squad, Eriksson added: 'I think Lennon was very, very good - very confident. Theo Walcott didn't look shy at all - that's very good.

'Michael Carrick did well and Jermaine Jenas and Stuart Downing were very good. This team had never played together - we had bad luck with both goals, particularly the first, but there are positives.

'It's important all members of the squad got some action.'

Man of the match Lennon believes England can take positives out of the game.

The Tottenham winger was a constant menace to the Belarus defence at Reading's Madejski Stadium, where the visitors poached a 2-1 victory.

'You have to look past the result,' said Lennon on Sky Sports. 'It was my first game for England and a few others were making their debuts.

'You've got to take the good things out of it and take the positives into the other friendlies coming up.'

Lennon declared: 'It felt like my senior debut.'

He believes that by tormenting an international defence, he has proven he can be a threat at England level.

'Everyone asked, `Can you step up to the next level?', so it was good for me.'

He could now play in the senior team's friendlies against Hungary and Jamaica, and win a first cap.

'It would be a dream come true,' said the 19-year-old. 'Hopefully if I keep playing well and training well I'll get my chance.'

Owen, who captained the team until being substituted just after the hour mark, was happy to come through the international - having played just 30 minutes of club football in 2006.

He suffered a broken metatarsal injury against Tottenham in December but has returned to full training and is building up his fitness for the World Cup.

'I felt fine, the foot felt fine,' said Owen on Sky Sports. 'I thought we were quite sharp in the first half, the wide men played well going forward.

'We were quite sloppy in the second half, giving them that (first) goal gave them impetus. It's disappointing to lose, but there you are.'

Owen insists he was 'never worried' about his fitness and stressed he was feeling good during the match.

'I feel sharp. I'm pleased I played 60 minutes and it's onwards and upwards now.'

Asked about Theo Walcott, who had a half-hour run-out, Owen said: 'I haven't played alongside him yet but in training you try to get to know him, know what his strengths and weaknesses are.

'It's his first introduction into the squad and was only a `B' game but it will have felt like a full international to him.'

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