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Football: Nugent right to score - Phillips; ALBION NEWS.

KEVIN Phillips had more reason than anyone to cast a curious eye over David Nugent's debut for England.

The Baggies striker was the last UK-based non-Premiership outfield player to figure in a full England international - until the Preston striker came off the bench against Andorra during the week.

Phillips, then playing for Sunderland, made his England debut in the 1-1 draw in Hungary back in April 1999. He was joined by Black Cats team-mate Michael Gray, who was a sub that day - but Phillips remains the last Championship outfield player to start an England international.

Nugent scored England's third in midweek, getting a cheeky final touch to Jer-main Defoe's goal-bound shot.

Speaking about his time with England, Phillips told the Sports Argus that he would have done the same in Nugent's position - especially as his eight caps failed to yield a single goal.

"I know how David Nugent must be feeling - myself and Michael Gray were the last two outfield players to be selected for England before him and it was a proud moment for me," said Phillips, who partnered goals-corer Alan Shearer in that clash.

"Mind you he scored which I never did. There were some great strikers involved when I was around - including Shearer and Owen - and it was difficult for me.

"I saw Nugent's goal. Some people said he should have let it roll in but there's no way a striker would do that unless his mate's on a hat-trick! Kevin Keegan was manager when I was involved in nearly every squad over a two-year period and I went to the European Championship in 2000."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 31, 2007
Words:268
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