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Harry Redknapp last night told his West Ham hard man Julian Dicks: "You're good enough to play for England."

Dicks has talked his way out of international contention by claiming that England No.2 John Gorman told him to grow his hair.

He will almost certainly be ignored for the friendly against Mexico at Wembley later this month after announcing: "I don't care about the England side and I don't feel patriotic."

Gorman retaliated by denying that he had told Dicks to grow his hair when they met on holiday in Tenerife last May.

And he revealed that the 28-year-old defender and Hammers skipper had been a serious candidate to face the Mexicans.

Last night manager Redknapp was playing peacemaker when he said: "I don't want to get involved in any slanging match with John Gorman because he's a decent bloke.

"It's just a shame Julian has said he doesn't want to play for England because he's certainly good enough.

"Julian's always been his own man and, if he's got an opinion about something, you've got to respect it.

"But he's the nearest thing we've got in this country to another Stuart Pearce because he's got the lot.

"He's got a great left foot, he never ducks a challenge, and he's got a terrific spring which makes him so dangerous at set-pieces. He's our leading scorer for the second year running.

"When he was involved in that incident with John Spencer against Chelsea last season, and then got himself sent off at Arsenal a week later, I thought it was a case of `Here we go again'.

"But since then, he's been terrific. He's only picked up 16 disciplinary points this year and he's not missed one game suspended.

"There's nothing I would love to see more than Julian playing for England. He wouldn't let anyone down."

Redknapp takes the Hammers to Leeds this afternoon buoyed by Monday night's 4-3 win over Tottenham, when Dicks scored twice, in front of Glenn Hoddle.

New pounds 5million striker John Hartson is banned and Redknapp admitted: "The two new signings up front made a big difference up front against Spurs. Losing John is a big blow."
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Walters, Mike
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 1, 1997
Previous Article:YOU MUST BE. .REFFING; He's put back in charge of Chelsea v Leicester.
Next Article:Apologise - or else!

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