Swain: 'We'll bounce back'
Saturday, 16 October, 2010
Head Coach feels his squad have spirit to brush off defeat.
By Glenn Lavery
England U16 Head Coach Kenny Swain believes his side will bounce back following their 4-0 defeat to Wales in the Victory Shield.
The four goals were scored in an extraordinary 24-minute spell during the first half and gave England an almost impossible task to come back into the game after the interval.
Wales took the lead through Tom O'Sullivan after seven minutes and were then awarded two penalties, both of which were converted by Declan John. It was left to Rhys James to put the match beyond England with an exquisite long distance chip.
"We fell apart a little bit for a 20-minute spell and that was critical; it turned the game their way and then you've got a mountain to climb," said Swain after the match.
"But it was a really good lesson for us, in terms of facing a competitive outfit. Wales pressed us really well, better than other teams have done in the past.
"Second half, to be fair to (the England players), they showed a bit more spirit and they played a bit better as well. And, maybe we were a bit unlucky to not get back into it."
Having overseen six successful Victory Shield campaigns with England, Swain is better positioned that most to assess the qualities of players in this U16 age bracket and he urged his charges to not get too dismayed at the result. They are still learning their trade, he argues, and believes this result may help his players develop in the long run.
"It's not easy when you make mistakes (at this age) and concede what I call 'calamatous' goals. They weren't goals the opposition created. The mistakes we made were critical, but they are mistakes that are typical for (players of) this age.
"I've got no doubts about their spirit and their ability to bounce back, though.
"I was talking to Ian Rush and Ray Clemence (after the game) and we were talking about the times we've had a beating and the times we've had a rousing success. That's football. It's a harsh lesson sometimes when you lose and it's very, very sweet when you win."