In what seems like a move in damage limitation, England have scaled down their schedule of friendly matches from 20 to 18 over the four-year period from 2008. Steve ‘Malcolm’ McClaren had made it clear that he was in favour of scrapping some in favour of longer training camps.
"I want the flexibility to be able to control when we have friendlies. The key thing for me is getting more time with the players. If more time means get-togethers with no end result and we achieve something, yes, I would like that."
The FA has just issued a document and the 18 friendlies detailed within it will commence after Euro 2008.
"We are all one organisation and priority has to be the success of the England team," said FA director of communications Adrian Bevington.
"Executives, including chief executive Brian Barwick have already started discussing with Steve and his coaching staff the issues that have been raised"
noted Bevington, before making it clear that all friendly fixtures are discussed with the coach in advance.