• International football

Taylor added to England squad after Cahill withdrawal

ESPN staff
March 19, 2013
Steven Taylor will join up with the England squad © PA Photos

England manager Roy Hodgson has added Steven Taylor to his squad for the games against San Marino and Montenegro, after Gary Cahill's withdrawal further hampered his defensive options.

After Rio Ferdinand withdrew from the squad on Monday, Cahill added to Hodgson's centre-back headache after he was ruled out of the game against San Marino - following an assessment of a knee injury by England doctors.

The Chelsea defender could recover in time to face Montenegro next Tuesday, however - although Hodgson is taking no chances by drafting in Newcastle's Taylor as additional cover.

"Cahill was assessed by England medical staff on Monday and will not be able to take part in the match, but will be reassessed later in the week with a view to the qualifier against Montenegro on Tuesday," an FA statement read.

"Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor will join the squad in place of Cahill."

Taylor will make his international debut if he appears in either World Cup qualifier.

"It's a dream come true," Taylor told Newcastle's official website. "I am so happy to have received a call-up to the full squad. It is every player's ambition to represent their country and it is the greatest honour in professional football.

"If I am lucky enough to be given that chance over the next seven days it will be one of the proudest moments of my playing career."

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew added: "This is a fully deserved call-up for Steven.

"He missed part of the season but since his return he has been outstanding. He has a great chance, on this form, of going to the World Cup."

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