Football: Now Quashie Can Go on to Play for England: Portsmouth 3 Bradford 0; MERSON'S TIP FOR TOP

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Byline: ROGER STEPHENS

TWO-GOAL Nigel Quashie left Fratton Park with both Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp and star player Paul Merson tipping him for an England future.

Quashie, 24, played for England at Under-21 and B international level but his career floundered after a move from Queen's Park Rangers to Nottingham Forest went sour.

But Redknapp and Merson are convinced that it is not too late for Quashie to force his way into Sven Goran Eriksson's reckoning even as a First Division player.

Redknapp said: "The difference here is that we love him and make him feel wanted.

"Nigel had injuries and illness and might have lost his way a bit, but when I first came here I liked his attitude.

"He can become a top player and go all the way. It's up to him because he has the ability.

"We let him know we liked him at Portsmouth because he is an excellent player."

Merson is adamant that Quashie and exciting young left-back Matt Taylor can play for England if they maintain their progress and First Division leaders Pompey get into the Premiership.

"I can't think of a more influential left-back in world football than Taylor apart from Roberto Carlos.

"We have tightened up his defensive game and when he goes forward he's every bit as good as Ashley Cole.

"As for Nigel, I hope he does not look back on his career one day and wonder why he never played for England.

"He is a great player from box to box and it is up to him to maintain this sort of form and force his way back into the frame."

Bradford striker Danny Cadamarteri believes Nicky Law's team will learn from the thrashing. Cadamarteri said: "We were badly hit by injuries but that is no excuse because we made plenty of chances and did not take them.

"We were punished for conceding sloppy goals and Portsmouth gave us a lesson in finishing.

"You cannot give top players like Paul Merson room and expect to survive but, in everything except scoring, we matched them.

"Harry Redknapp has brought in people like Merson and Gianluca Festa who are top quality players with tremendous experience and knowledge. …