The Three Lions face Wales on Saturday, knowing that a win will see them lift the Four Nations Tournament.
England C v Wales
Four Nations Tournament
Belle Vue Park, Rhyl FC
2pm, Saturday 24 May 2008
England C go into their final game of the Four Nations Tournament on Saturday afternoon, knowing that victory, or a clean sheet will be enough to secure the title for a second successive year.
The Three Lions face hosts Wales at Rhyl FC in what is the competition decider, following England’s single goal victories over Gibraltar and Scotland whilst the Welsh shared a draw with Scotland in their opener before seeing off Gibraltar by 6-2 on Thursday.
Both teams know each other well too, having met as recently as February in the International Challenge Trophy (pictured left).
England ran out as 2-1 winners on that occasion, with goals from Mitchell Cole and Michael Morrison separating the teams at Exeter City’s St.James Park so manager Paul Fairclough would certainly settle for a repeat of that scoreline.
“The Wales team that we play against won’t be dissimilar to the one we faced in Exeter,” he revealed.
“They have a very youthful side and play some good football, so it will be different to some of the Welsh teams from the last few years.
“Some of the games we have played against them before have been what I would call x-rated.
“When we played them in Scotland last year, at times I had to watch the game through the cracks of my fingers but whilst the Welsh have retained that passion they have married that with playing decent football.
“It’s all about us though, everyone wants to beat England and if a team plays above themselves and gets it right on the day, then there will be no room for error for us.
“To win the competition again would be a great achievement for us though. We didn’t concede a goal last year and if we can repeat that, we know it will be good enough this year too.”
Fairclough made seven changes to the team which played Scotland on Thursday night, after previously resting the players who had been involved in last weekend’s Conference play-off final at Wembley for the Gibraltar game.
He expects to make more changes for Saturday’s game too, in order to keep the squad fresh for the trip to the West Indies next week where England face friendlies against Barbados and Grenada.
“There will be a different team again, but we will choose one which is good enough to go out and win the game.
“On Thursday we played as well as I’ve seen since I have been in charge so if we can repeat that and show a little more killer instinct in front of goal, we hope to get the right result.”
Meanwhile, York City's Martyn Woolford has been called into the England C team for the two fixtures against Grenada and Barbados next week. Woolford replaces Exeter City's Dean Moxey who fractured a foot in the team's 1-0 victory over Scotland on Thursday.England C Squad
Adam Bartlett (Blyth Spartans), Scott Tynan (Northwich Victoria), Daniel Gleeson (Cambridge United), John Brayford (Burton Albion), Michael Morrison (Cambridge United), Wayne Hatswell (Cambridge United), Kevin Nicholson (Torquay United), Dean Moxey* (Exeter City), Ben Harding (Aldershot Town), Chris McPhee (Ebbsfleet United), Russell Penn (Kidderminster Harriers), Lewis Chalmers (Aldershot Town), Mitchell Cole (Stevenage Borough), John Martin** (Stevenage Borough), Shaun Harrad (Burton Albion), Andy Burgess (Rushden & Diamonds), John Shaw (Halifax Town), Steve Morison (Stevenage Borough)
* Withdrawn injured and replaced by Martyn Woolford of York City.
** Withdrawn injured and replaced by James Smith of Ebbsfleet United.