International Brigade

Friday 19 April 2002

It was another busy week for Fulham's international contingent. With no fewer than seven call-ups, Fulham Today caught up with those involved to find out how they got on.

Steve Marlet: France 0 - Russia 0

"I played for the last thirty minutes. It was tough, but it was a good game, the Russian players were very motivated. I was pleased to play, my position was on the right side, a combined mid-field and attack role. I was happy with the way I played, but it's more important that the manager is happy too!

"We have one more friendly now, against Belgium on the 19th May, and then it's on to Japan, and hopefully I can be a part of that."

Steve Finnan: Republic of Ireland 2 - USA 1

"I played for the first half. The conditions were very tough with the weather being so bad; there were quite a few places where there were puddles on the pitch. So it meant it was a bit scrappy, but it was a good win for us.

"There were about five or six changes at half time and I came off. Eddie Lewis came on in the second half so we by-passed each other, but I managed to get his shirt after the game which was nice.

"I was happy with the way it went. I had a part in the first goal; got forward and put a cross over from which we scored. But they were a tough team and we were pleased to get the winner late on."

Andrejs Stolcers: Latvia 2 - Kazakhstan 1

"We played on Wednesday in Latvia, and it wasn't a very easy game for us. I came on as a substitute in the second half and I played for about thirty-five minutes. I played on the right of midfield and I was lucky enough to score the winning goal. Our striker took the ball into the area, drew the defender, and then passed to me. I was about five or six yards from goal and hit it first time.

"I was happy to play. It was an important game for us, as are all internationals for our country."

Eddie Lewis : Rep of Ireland 2 - USA 1

"I came on to play the second half; both teams made quite a few changes. The conditions were a bit tough, but overall I thought it was a decent game. Ireland are a good team, and they outplayed us really for most of the game, so it was a good test and a good opportunity to try some things.

"I played left of midfield and I was reasonably pleased with my performance. I thought I did well when I came on. We'd had problems formulating some attacks, and I thought when I came on I created some chances and did some things, so I was happy on a personal level. As a team though, we weren't the best.

"As far as the World Cup goes, I think, as always, that the USA's feeling is that we're going to win games because we're organised and play as a team rather than having any superstars. The conditions there are going to be very different from here, and I think that will catch a lot of teams out.

"Personally, I think it's gone well for me over the last six months, but I'm not going to start assuming anything, so I'll just keep at it and hope that when the announcement comes out I'm in the squad."

Maik Taylor: Northern Ireland 0 - Spain 5

"It was a disappointing result. In the first half we had done extremely well and kept it to 1-0. We had a very young side, twelve experienced players had pulled out of the squad, and despite that we did quite well for a while.

"I only played for the first half, but then right at the start of the second we gave two soft goals away, and with the lack of experience out there, heads dropped. But Spain are a class side, and must be one of the favourites for the World Cup - their strength in depth is incredible, to be able to bring players like Mendieta off the bench in the second half is unbelievable. They were full strength and it was always going to be a tall order for us. We battled well for as long as we could, but with a team that included two nineteen-year-olds from the Third Division, it was always going to be an uphill battle.

"I was pleased with my own performance. I was a bit wary before the game - we gave a decent account of ourselves but in the end their class just told."

Sean Davis: England U21 0 - Portugal U21 1

"I played the first sixty minutes. We made it tough for ourselves because we didn't play very well in the first half. It's hard to put a finger on why we were so poor, but perhaps it will turn out to be a good thing if it wakes us up a bit. I played in the centre of midfield - it's a different formation to Fulham, England play with two wingers normally.

"We've got a good squad though, with a lot of quality players, and we're confidant about the tournament in the summer. We've just got to work a lot harder when we get there and hopefully it will come right. Portugal will be one of the strongest sides there, and if that's the case then I don't see why we can't win the tournament."

Zat Knight: England U21 0 - Portugal 1

"I was on the bench for the game, but unfortunately I didn't get on. I thought I'd done quite well in the last game I played, so I am disappointed, but that's the way it goes. There's a squad of twenty-five players, so it was nice to get on the bench even if I didn't get on.

"I hope that the fact that I gave a good account of myself in the last two games will stand me in good stead for the summer. It's all down to the manager now - he's got to select twenty-two players to take with him, and all I can hope is that I'm one of them."