Date: 26th February 2006 at 1:50pm
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Glenn Roeder says he would never pick the England, or anyone else’s side, but he thinks Scott Parker should be given the chance to stake a claim for a seat on the plane going to the World Cup.

The 25-year-old, Toon skipper in the absence of the injured Alan Shearer, was on form once again in black and white.

Glenn Roeder: ‘I would never attempt to choose someone else’s team – that would be very wrong of me. Football will always remain a game of opinion – it’s one of the great things about the game, that we are all allowed to have an opinion.

‘But because I have been very lucky to have worked with England squad’s for two and a half years, I’m confident that Scott Parker would not look out of place in an England squad. He would not look out of place playing in the same team as a Lampard or a Gerrard.

‘I told the players before the game, I’ve been a bit fed up with the negativity leading up to this game. Because we haven’t got Alan (Shearer) playing, we haven’t got Michael (Owen) playing, we haven’t got Kieron (Dyer) playing and the best we could hope for was probably a 0-0 draw.

‘I said to them that was absolute rubbish – in fact, I said we wouldn’t even settle for a draw before the game. I told them I didn’t think they had been shown the respect they deserve by the suggestion this team was not good enough to beat Everton, and they went out and they were terrific.’