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Feed Carroll crosses, say Shearer and Wright

ESPN staff
May 29, 2012 « Khan: Peterson should be banned for life | Chartbeat test »

Former England strikers Alan Shearer and Ian Wright have backed Andy Carroll to thrive at Euro 2012, as long as Roy Hodgson's side play to the front man's key strength - his ability in the air.

Carroll, who is expected to spearhead England's attack in their first two group games in the absence of the suspended Wayne Rooney, has played just four times for his country, scoring one goal.

But Wright believes the Liverpool front man's late season form could see him have an instant impact in his first international tournament, as long as he receives plenty of service from the wings.

"England need to get quality balls into the danger areas," Wright said in his column for The Sun. "Against Norway on Saturday evening, Stewart Downing or James Milner did not get enough crosses in.

"The best one, from Downing after four minutes, resulted in Carroll beating his opponent and sending a good effort just a few inches wide."

Wright admits that Carroll lacks the ability of other world-class strikers, but can still be a potent force in Poland and Ukraine.

"Luca Toni was a World Cup winner with Italy and I believe Carroll can be just as effective as him," added Wright.

England legend and fellow former Newcastle No. 9 Shearer also expects Carroll to shine on the big stage this summer.

"The ability is there," said Shearer, who managed Carroll during his brief spell in charge on Tyneside. "If Andy is in your team, he's there for one reason: that is to get balls into the box."

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