Friday 08 June 2012
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes Scott Parker can play a key role for England at Euro 2012.
Redknapp expects Spurs midfielder Parker to form a strong partnership with captain Steven Gerrard when England get their Group D campaign under way against France in Donetsk on Monday.
"I think he will complement Steven Gerrard well because Steven likes to burst forward at times and Scott will hold in there and protect," Redknapp told Sky Sports News HD.
"When England beat Spain at Wembley, we were under the cosh for most of the game but Spain didn't create too many chances even though they had a lot of the ball, and Scott was instrumental in front of our back four, shutting people down and closing balls into front men.
"It's a massive game. France have a very good side"
- Scott Parker
"He will do that job for us. He brings a strong base to the team. I think Scott and Steven Gerrard are going to be massive, they are going to be key."
Parker's importance to England has been underlined by injuries to fellow midfielders Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry, who were both ruled out of the tournament.
But he admits England will have to be at their best if they are to get off to a flying start against a France side who are unbeaten in 21 matches.
"It's probably the best game to play first, it's a massive game. France have a very good side," Parker told Tottenham's website.
"We played them in a friendly at Wembley a year or so ago and they put in a great performance and beat us quite well.
"It will be a difficult game but every game at international level is difficult, none more so than France. We’ll have to be at our best to get a result.
"They are full of talent. Look at their squad and there are a lot of Premier League players in there, players we know all about. They have some real talent and on their day, they can beat anyone."