Date: 14th November 2006 at 9:50pm
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The under-fire England boss hinted after the embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Croatia that he would give some of Englands Under 21 stars a try, with Leighton Baines being one of the early runners for a place in the senior squad.

Yet despite impressive form and rave reviews, young Baines was snubbed in favour of the more in-experienced Micah Richards.

However, McClaren has hinted (again) that he will look at Englands youngsters in the future, singling Leighton Baines among others for special praise.

‘I am looking forward to the emergence of lads like Leighton Baines, Gabriel Agbonlahor – who has really impressed me – and David Nugent.

I am also looking forward to seeing Theo Walcott get more games and having the chance to prove what a good player he is.

With those lads, it is all about potential. My job is about qualifying for the European Championships. That is what I am looking towards when I pick a squad.’


Quite frankly, a friendly in Holland was the perfect chance to try out Baines, instead the Latics left-back settled for impressing in the Under 21s tonight.

Baines was substituted early in the second half after picking up a knock, this was only as a precautin and Baines is expected to be fit for Sundays televised clash against Aston Villa.