England v Montenegro: Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were vital

Last Updated: 18/10/13 12:20pm

Andros Townsend hogged the headlines after netting on his Three Lions debut, but Peter Taylor was impressed by some of England's older heads during the 4-1 win over Montenegro at Wembley.

Roy Hodgson's charges remain one point clear of Ukraine at the top of World Cup Qualification Group H, meaning a victory at home to Poland on Tuesday evening will guarantee their place in next summer's finals in Brazil.

Tottenham winger Townsend was handed his international bow and responded by helping to create Wayne Rooney's opener and then thundering in England's third goal from outside the penalty area.

"Gerrard and Lampard helped and balanced the team when we were both with and without the ball."

Peter Taylor

Read our match report here

But Taylor - who is currently managing the England Under-20 side - told Sky Sports News that his country's experienced central midfielders played a crucial role in the triumph, a result which means Montenegro cannot now qualify for the World Cup.

"I know a long time ago people said Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard couldn't play together but they were outstanding," said Taylor, who managed England for one game, against Italy, in 2000.

"They helped and balanced the team when we were both with and without the ball, while Michael Carrick did great when he came on for Lampard."

Grown up

Taylor was also encouraged by the attacking thrust provided by Townsend, Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck as England took their goal tally in qualifying to 29, a number only bettered by Netherlands and Germany.

The former Crystal Palace boss praised the way Townsend - who has played only 11 Premier League matches for Spurs - reacted to international football, and also saluted his manager Hodgson for being brave enough to select the 22-year-old.

"Roy will be delighted with the front four because they all moved around and played well with each other," said Taylor, who enjoyed a stint in charge of the Bahrain national team between 2011-12.

"Townsend showed no fear, looked really grown up playing for England, and I'll bet he had as many touches as anyone on that pitch, plus his goal was absolutely outstanding.

"So that's full credit to him but also to Roy for putting him in the team for such a massive game."

Taylor concluded: "We had a dodgy spell when Montenegro scored [to make it 2-1] but at times we looked very dangerous and the table makes for nice reading ahead of Tuesday."