England under 21 keeper Joe Lewis plays as a striker

Posted by - June 9, 2009 - England, International

Stuart Pearce defends ‘disrespectful’ move

England under 21s deployed goalkeeper Joe Lewis as an emergency substitute striker as they coasted to a 7-0 friendly win over Azerbaijan. The Peterborough keeper experienced life on a football pitch without the aid of gloves as he came on as a 75th minute replacement for Wigan’s Lee Cattermole.

Lewis cut a Peter Crouch-like figure on the pitch, and England even bagged their seventh goal of the night while the keeper was playing up front.

Stuart Pearce said: “We had to do that because Cat’s pulled a slight injury and with the tournament a week away we were at a loss as what to do. We used all our outfield subs and Joe put himself forward to go up front. It was a forced sub.

“Whichever way we did it we didn’t want to be seen as disrespectful. That was the last thing I wanted.”