Jennings backing for Robbo
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Goalkeeping great Pat Jennings has backed Paul Robinson, after his nightmare air-kick.
Goalkeeping great Pat Jennings has backed Paul Robinson, after his nightmare air-kick in the 2-0 defeat against Croatia.
The 26-year-old England number one has taken a large portion of the blame for Wednesday night's Euro 2008 qualifying defeat in Zagreb.
Croatia's bizarre second, in the 69th minute, was a result of Gary Neville's back-pass skipping over Robinson's foot into an empty net and effectively ending the game.
Ironically Robinson had been one of the few bright sparks for The Three Lions up to that point and his club goalkeeping coach Jennings has cleared his man of any blame.
"What can you do about it? It hit the turf and leapt up - it was just one of those things, a fluke," Jennings explained.
"Paul is one of the best strikers of the ball in the country. It was just one of those things.
"You have seen it happen to goalkeepers down the years, but he was just unfortunate that it happened to him in such an important game.
"He just has to forget it. There is nobody better than him.
"He cannot let it affect him."
The goal consigned Steve McClaren's men to their first defeat since Sven Goran Eriksson left the job this summer.
With a string of young keepers waiting in the wings to replace him, Robinson will be anxious to bounce back in England's friendly with Holland on November 15.