Emile Heskey changed the game and possibly the course of our Euro 2004 qualifica
Emile Heskey changed the game and possibly the course of our Euro 2004 qualification campaign on Saturday night but the modest Liverpool striker says he was just playing 'the only way he knows how'....With England 1-0 down to a then-rampant Macedonia side, Sven felt that he needed some more bulk and presence upfront to help his team keep possession. Emile was the man he turned to and it proved to be an inspired decision.
Within eight minutes of coming on, Emile had laid a perfect knockdown into the path of the onrushing Wayne Rooney. England were level and on the way to claiming a priceless three points.
"I am pleased with the way it went because it's never that easy coming on from the bench and getting adjusted to the pace of the game," recalls Emile.
"The boss didn't give me massively detailed instructions. He just told me to go out there and do what I can. My strengths are my physical abilities so that's what I concentrated on."
Emile was the attacking pivot with Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney feeding off his knockdowns. The system worked well and it's something Emile would welcome trying again.
"It was the first time that the three of us have played together and it was good to have all of us up there," he says of the all-Merseyside connection. "Who knows, if we got the chance to practice together, it could be even better.
"The equalizer was a good example of how it worked well. Becks chipped the ball to me and my first instinct was that I was going to bring it down on my chest and go for goal myself but it might have been difficult to go it alone.
"Then I saw Wayne coming and managed to get a good connection with the ball to head it into his path. His finish was excellent and everyone took confidence from us getting level so early into the second-half.
"It was great to be able to my part. Really I was playing the only way I know how."
Sven will no doubt tell Emile to carry on in the same vein.
Emile was talking to Dan Freedman
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