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Just watch Hugo go... - 06/09/2002

Just watch Hugo go...
In action at Villa Park?

I’m looking forward to watching tomorrow’s game between England and Portugal, not least because I’m interested to see if Hugo plays. He’s settled into the squad very well and I think we’ve all been impressed with the contribution he’s made. He’s quite a quiet lad, and although he speaks good English, it’ll take time before he’s really fluent and picking up all the accents. One of the things he’s mentioned is the quality of stadia we have in England. When we played the pre-season games at Forest and Wolves, he couldn’t believe the grounds belonged to First Division clubs. In Portugal I think you have a few massive grounds and the rest are pretty mediocre. OK it's probably the result of events such as the Bradford fire, but we've some fantastic grounds in this country - just take Darlo's new stadium for example

When it comes to the game, and if selected, he’ll be facing an England side weakened by a number of withdrawals. I know personally that Kieron’s problems are genuine and he definitely needs the rest, but I’m also pretty sure that if this match was a Euro 2004 game, the withdrawal of some of the other players wouldn’t have happened. Saying that, you can take positives out of negatives, and it’s opened the door for David Dunn to get his chance. The knock on effect of promoting Dunn from the under 21’s it that someone else will also get a chance at the junior level.

Portugal, although disappointing over the summer, are renowned for playing good, open football. Sven has already said he wouldn’t be making large-scale changes during the game, so I think we’re in for an entertaining game.

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