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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug, 25, 2006

Striker Johnson recalled to England squad

Steve McClaren has recalled Andrew Johnson to the England squad for the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Andorra and Macedonia.

Michael Carrick is also back after injury but Gary Neville is ruled out with a calf injury.

McClaren, who named his squad on thefa.com, is also without Joe Cole and Jamie Carragher through injury.

Johnson, 25, was on standby for the World Cup finals but has not made an international appearance since last year's summer tour of America.

He won his first England cap as a substitute in a friendly against Holland in February last year and then started his only game for his country against the USA in Chicago.

He was largely ignored by Sven-Goran Eriksson as he languished in the Championship with Crystal Palace but then surprisingly named among the World Cup stand-by players.

Johnson left Palace for Everton in an £8.6million move this summer and has started the season in bright form, scoring on his debut against Watford.

Carrick missed the friendly against Greece with an ankle injury but returned to make his Manchester United debut at Charlton in midweek.

Wayne Rooney is suspended from both games and McClaren is short of options up front.

Michael Owen will miss most of the season with a knee injury and Dean Ashton broke his ankle on the eve of the Greece game, when McClaren was set to hand him a debut.

Theo Walcott and Scott Carson, who both went to the World Cup, are in the under-21 squad.

McClaren watched Johnson play against Blackburn in midweek and the jubilant striker told evertonfc.com that he was thrilled to be back in the England fold.

Johnson said: 'I am delighted to have been called up again.

'When I joined Everton I said that it would be good for my international ambitions and that's been proved right.

'Every player wants to represent his country and I am no different in that. I just hope that now I can actually play a part in the two games.

'I am happy with my form at Everton and I have to thank the lads who have made it very easy for me to settle in here. My focus will always be on doing my very best for Everton and if England honours come my way then that's a big bonus.'

Everton boss David Moyes believes Johnson's recall is just reward for an impressive start to the season.

Moyes said: 'I am not surprised that Andy has been called up by England.

'He has been in very good form for us, both in pre-season and in the opening two matches in the Premiership.

'He scored a good goal against Watford and looked a constant threat against Blackburn.

'He has a terrific work ethic about him and he deserves his chance at international level.'

McClaren spoke to Moyes before making his decision and the England boss said: 'Andy deserves his chance in this squad after starting the season well with his new club.

'He's a great lad and a real team player who always gives everything.'

Rooney is suspended from both games because of his red card in the World Cup quarter-final and McClaren is short of options up front.

Owen will miss most of the season with a knee injury and Ashton broke his ankle on the eve of the friendly against Greece, earlier this month, when McClaren was set to hand him a first cap.

Carrick missed the Greece game with an ankle injury but returned to make his Manchester United debut at Charlton in midweek.

McClaren told thefa.com: 'Alex Ferguson says he's been training well and should be ready for the two games.

'It's a shame his start at United has been disrupted but he's a top-quality player and a great passer of the ball.'

Gary Neville's absence with a calf injury means McClaren must choose between Phil Neville or Luke Young at right-back, although Wes Brown can also play there.

McClaren said: 'It's always disappointing to lose someone of Gary's quality and experience.

'He's an important part of the squad but we have good cover in Luke Young and Phil Neville who are very capable deputies.'

Theo Walcott and Scott Carson, who both went to the World Cup, are in the under-21 squad.

Squad:

Robinson (Tottenham), Kirkland (Liverpool), Foster (Man Utd)

A Cole (Arsenal), Young (Charlton), P Neville (Everton), Bridge (Chelsea), Terry (Chelsea), Ferdinand (Man Utd), Brown (Man Utd), Dawson (Tottenham),

Lampard (Chelsea), Hargreaves (Bayern Munich), Carrick (Man Utd), Gerrard (Liverpool), Jenas (Tottenham), Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), Richardson (Man Utd), Downing (Middlesbrough), Lennon (Tottenham),

Defoe (Tottenham), Bent (Charlton), Johnson (Everton), Crouch (Liverpool)

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