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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 25, 2007

Taylor steps down as England Under-21 boss

Football Association officials are set to announce Peter Taylor's successor following conformation the Crystal Palace boss will not continue his role in charge of England Under-21s.

Steve McClaren had wanted to appoint a full-time coach since taking charge of the seniors but it is understood that Taylor's successor will start in a part-time capacity before the situation is reviewed after this summer's European Championships.

Taylor had a part-time role as he led England's youngsters to the finals tournament in Holland but he will now concentrate solely on Palace, who are 14th in the Championship.

His successor will take charge of a friendly against Spain at Pride Park next month before starting preparation for Holland in June.

'Anybody who has the honour of taking the team to Holland should be preparing the team as well, I think that was behind my decision,' said Taylor.

'Good luck to them, whoever goes in has a fantastic job. It's been an honour working with them we've had some great results and performances and it's nice to see players going into the senior squad.'

Sammy Lee was earmarked for the full-time job at the start of the season but was never officially offered the job and continued as assistant boss at Bolton, while Taylor continued on a match-by-match basis in a part-time capacity.

With Palace struggling in the Championship, Taylor stepped aside for November's friendly against Holland and Lee took temporary charge as victory marked England as one of the contenders for the European crown in the summer.

Taylor had a successful spell as coach between 1996 and 1999 when the likes of Jamie Carragher and Frank Lampard featured, but his spell since 2000 has seen more of his players given a direct route to the senior squad.

Aaron Lennon and Micah Richards are recent players to make the step up, while players such as Tom Huddlestone have been tipped to eventually earn a call-up.

Theo Walcott, who was famously taken to the World Cup last summer but not used, scored the goals to seal a play-off victory against Germany and secure England's place in the 2007 finals.

'I'm very proud of my record over two spells, I just hope they take a strong squad to Holland and I think they have every chance,' added Taylor on Sky Sports News.

Under-21 players often talked about the 'club mentality' Taylor forged in the squad with his experience of knowing how to handle young talent.

Preston striker David Nugent, who had established himself in Taylor's starting XI, told PA Sport: 'He's a fantastic coach and we all wanted to do well for him.

'There was so much talent in the squad with the likes of Micah Richards, Theo Walcott, Nigel Reo-Coker and Tom Huddlestone - we all want to prove to Steve McClaren that the young boys can make a step up.

'The summer is a chance for us to shine, it's the only tournament in the summer and everyone will be there to see what we are about.'

Southend boss Steve Tilson has been linked with the vacant post, while Lee and Brian Kidd have been previously suggested as possible candidates.

The Under-21 role could also provide a promising manager with a first taste of international football.