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Joe Cole in England squad

London: England have drafted West Ham United midfielder Joe Cole into their squad for the games against South Africa, Serbia-Montenegro and Slovakia after Newcastle United’s Kieron Dyer withdrew due to injury.

Cole, whose club was relegated from the Premier League on Sunday, has been promoted from the under-21 squad.

“I am disappointed to lose Kieron,” England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said on the Football Association’s official website on Wednesday.

“However, in Joe Cole I know I have a very good player who already has international experience and I am confident he’ll do a good job for the team,” added Eriksson.

England play friendlies against South Africa in Durban on May 22 and Serbia-Montenegro in Leicester on June 3 before taking on Slovakia in a Euro 2004 qualifier at Middlesbrough on June 11.

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