Glenn: No Problems

Glenn Roeder says he has no problems about Jermain Defoe, Michael Carrick, and Joe Cole not making the full England squad for Saturday's game with Liechtenstein and Wednesday evening's clash with Turkey - and insists the players don't either.

Talking of Jermain's selection in the under-21s, who failed to beat Turkey at Newcastle on Tuesday - watched by Glenn - he insists: "He didn't make the full squad but from my point of view I haven't got a big concern or a big worry over that. It is absolutely Sven-Goran Eriksson's decision and I am comfortable with that.

"He is only just 20, and I know people will turn round and say Wayne Rooney at 17 is in before Jermain, and again, that is Sven-Goran Eriksson's decision.

"But I also see that David Moyes isn't convinced it is the right decision, and has said 'I am not sure he has played anywhere near enough first team football.'

"You have to accept the decision of the national coach and trust his judgment.

"But it is my opinion that over the last couple of months Jermain Defoe is having his best spell of the season and that must continue in the next six weeks."

Michael, of course, missed the second game through injury, Steve Bywater was left out, Joe and Jermain both played, and Glen Johnson came off the subs bench to make his debut at under-21 level.

"These are all young boys," says Glenn. "Joe is 21 and he has been to a World Cup already, Michael is 21 and has already been capped at full international level, and that is quite an unbelievable achievement for players that are so young.

"When you are that age you are not going to be in every squad and they accept that.

"It is championship football at under-21 level, and very important that the under-21s do well because it is an advertisement for English football being in good shape.

"So I think it is only right that David Platt is allowed to pick his strongest team, because, quite honestly with Jermain, Joe, and Michael Carrick in the last couple of months you can make a strong case for them being in the senior squad.

"But probably all three of them wouldn't have started the championship games so I think Sven-Goran Eriksson has taken the view that he can give Wayne Rooney more experience by being with the seniors, and the more experienced players like Defoe, Carrick, and Cole can actually get match practice for the under-21s.

"To be quite honest it is possible that, if Wayne had been in the under-21s, Jermain would have started ahead of him anyway."

But Glenn's main concern is of course the domestic situation, and he adds: "It is a shame that there has been a two week break, but when we have had that twice since Christmas we have managed to pick up the thread very quickly - which we are going to have to do at Southampton on Saturday.

"Those away on international duty are getting match practice during the fortnight and the ones who are left at the training ground at Chadwell Heath are working extremely hard.

"It is a full week's training leading up to the Southampton game which is as important as any game we have played this season.

"It has been the same for other teams but fortunately for us we have maintained the momentum when we have gone into the next game.

"The fitness levels have been good all year but, as always, the psychology part of sport is that if you are winning it is amazing how little tiredness sets in.

"There is no doubt about it, psychologically you can find more energy from being in a winning position."