McClaren hails Young Lions
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Steve McClaren says he is 'very excited' by some of England's Under-21 stars.
England boss Steve McClaren says he is 'very excited' by some of the young talent currently emerging from the Under-21 setup.
Peter Taylor's side have qualified for next summer's European Championships and on Tuesday, under the temporary guidance of Sammy Lee, they produced an impressive display to beat their Dutch counterparts 1-0 in a friendly.
McClaren, who oversaw the progression of a wide range of players from Middlesbrough's academy during his time at The Riverside, previously signalled his intention to give youth a chance following England's disappointing 2-0 defeat in Croatia in October.
The Three Lions boss has proved true to his word with 18-year-old Manchester City starlet Micah Richards set to become the senior side's youngest ever defender after his elevation for Wednesday's friendly in Amsterdam.
However, McClaren continues to take a keen interest in the young vanguard of talent emerging from English shores, and the national boss has now highlighted a triumvirate of players in particular who could have a chance of breaking into the senior team.
Wigan left back Leighton Baines, Aston Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor and David Nugent (pictured) of Championship outfit Preston have all been identified by the England boss as he ponders when to inject some more fresh blood.
"I am very excited by some of the young lads coming through from the Under-21s," said McClaren.
"You have to be careful about which games and get-togethers you bring them in for. It is all about timing.
"But I am looking forward to the emergence of lads like Leighton Baines, Gabriel Agbonlahor - who has really impressed me - and David Nugent."