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Eddie Gray: Get on with it as classy foreigners here to stay

Andros Townsend in match action for Leeds United.

Andros Townsend in match action for Leeds United.

There has been talk of Davide Somma coming back into the Leeds United fold but Davide has been out of the game a long time.

You just don’t know how his fitness is but if Davide says he is well enough to come back then you hope he does and you hope he can recapture the form he showed. But I think that’s a long way off.

Nobody has come in to the club of late but Brian McDermott will be looking and doing his utmost.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens – there might be one or two players – but hopefully we can get something done before the Birmingham game. We play them at Elland Road next Sunday and it’s not a must-win game from a desperation point of view. But I think it’s a must-win for the team and for confidence and for Brian to push forward and to try and get in and around that top six. Because the way this league is, it’s still possible.

And you can talk about two or three-year plans all you want but that does not work and it’s what happens now in football that counts. That’s the nature of the game now and we need to do our utmost to get back into the pack. And that’s definitely feasible.

At the moment the focus is all on England and of course Friday’s hero Andros Townsend was at Elland Road for a bit when he was on loan last year.

It never really happened for him here because we were going through a funny period and he was only young then.

But with any player something just snaps in the mind and you get on with your business and he has done very, very well for Tottenham this year. I thought he was terrific for England and he was the one that won the match for them.

England did well to win the game against Montenegro on Friday because there was a lot of pressure on them.

I think it will be a tough game against Poland tomorrow but I think they’ll win the game though I think it will be a bit tougher than it was the other night.

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But if they don’t win the game and Ukraine win then they are going to have a tough hurdle. It looks as though France and Portugal could be in the pot of teams who finish second and that would be tough. But it’s all in their own hands and it’s up to them to go out and perform well enough to get through the game and get to the World Cup and then they can take stock.

I could see the younger boys going out to Brazil – the likes of Townsend and Daniel Sturridge and Ross Barkley – another one who was at Leeds! He has had a terrific start to the season.

But I don’t agree with all this talk about clubs giving more of a chance to English players and limiting the number of foreigners. Why should you? It’s an open world now. If you’re good enough you play and if you’re not good enough you don’t play. And you’d not be able to do it anyway. We are in the European Union and, for me, players from your own country have got to prove they are good enough to play.

And do you think the Premier League would be one of the best leagues in the world if all the foreign players didn’t play there? Also, we know that managers are sacked quite easily if they don’t get results and so the managers are not going to play an English boy if he’s not good enough.

Your job is to do the best you can for your club and that means signing the best players.

That’s the nature of the game and you cannot stop people coming into your country now and playing football. If they are better players than we’ve got here then clubs are going to take them. I think that’s how it should be. It’s competitive and that’s the nature of the sport.

I read a little article from Gordon Strachan and Gordon summed it perfectly by saying ‘let’s stop feeling sorry for ourselves and let’s start playing more football.’ We’re all moaning about the number of foreign players that we are playing or moaning that we are not good enough. Well let’s start playing and start working at it.

It’s no secret that a lot of the best players around the world come from deprived areas because they have been working at it and they play football all the time.

If you want to be a top player you have got to play all the time.

 

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