The Liverpool striker silenced his critics in Macedonia by changing the course o
The Liverpool striker silenced his critics in Macedonia by changing the course of Saturday's Euro 2004 qualifier after his half-time arrival
LION OF THE WEEKEND - EMILE HESKEY
"He did so well for me with the goal" - Wayne Rooney
"The players know and appreciate what Emile can do" - Phil Neville
"We needed more strength up front and Emile provided it" - Sven-Goran Eriksson
"His introduction changed the game" - Daily Mirror
Emile Heskey is sometimes painted unkindly as an England player but nobody could doubt his worth during Saturday's 2-1 win in Macedonia.
With England trailing at half-time, manager Sven-Goran Eriksson decided to send the Liverpool striker on to replace Frank Lampard.
The thinking was that England needed someone to hold the ball up and worry the home defence with pace and power.
Heskey not only executed his role perfectly, winning his first free-kick after just 45 seconds, he also set up Wayne Rooney's equaliser with a terrific cushioned header.
"The manager has shown before he is not afraid to make tactical changes during a game and Emile Heskey showed what he can do," said Phil Neville.
"The England players know what he is capable of so it didn't surprise us at all to see him have such an impact."
Although Rooney's goal - making him England's youngest scorer - grabbed the headlines, Heskey's role was recognised within the dressing room.
"He did so well for me, I was able to just concentrate on getting a good connection on the ball," said Rooney.
Heskey's goal record for England has been criticised but the 45 minutes in Skopje surely emphasised the fact that he gives the team many things.
"We needed some height and strength and Emile provided that," said a delighted Eriksson, who could well use Heskey again against Liechtenstein on Wednesday.
LION OF THE WEEKEND - WEEKLY AWARDS
James Beattie 1
David Beckham 1
Jermain Defoe 1
Emile Heskey 1
Frank Lampard 1
Wayne Rooney 1
By Joe Bernstein
TheFA.com will announce their Lion of the Weekend every Monday. A Lion of the Season award will be announced in May based on the number of weekly nominations
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