England goals shortage of no concern to Heskey

October 13, 2008

Emile Heskey approaches his 50th England cap insisting a lack of international goals is not weighing on his mind.

The 30-year-old, who is likely to reach the half-century mark against Belarus on Wednesday in Minsk, has just five England goals but his team-mates and boss Fabio Capello have spoken in appreciation of the Wigan striker's overall contribution.

Against Kazakhstan on Saturday Heskey had two efforts saved, two bundled away, and he also set up a late strike for substitute Jermain Defoe.

"Not scoring does not play on my mind,'' he said.

"I was trying to get that goal at the end and I couldn't even get anything on it, even my hand. I'm going to carry on and hopefully that will come.''

Heskey has been involved in England's finest modern victories - the wins against Germany in Munich and Croatia in Zagreb - and now appears to have a crucial role in getting the best out of Wayne Rooney.

The 5-1 at the weekend was nothing like the 5-1 against Germany in 2001 - but it did maintain England's 100% start to their qualification campaign for the 2010 World Cup.

"We'll have to be a lot better against Belarus than we were against Kazakhstan, we have to get at them and I think we will,'' Heskey said.

"It's looking rosy if we get three points on Wednesday, very good.

"Hopefully we can do it.''

Rio Ferdinand, who was the stand-in skipper at the weekend as John Terry was out injured, added: "There is a time until the next game after Belarus so if we can get four wins from four then we'll be very, very pleased and in a very good position.''

England face Germany in a friendly next month but their next qualifier after Belarus is a home clash against Ukraine in April.

"It's what we wanted from three games, you want nine points,'' said midfielder David Beckham.

"We got that. It's going to be a tough game during the week but we've got this result against Kazakhstan and now we move onto that.''