John Peacock says the young Lions are looking forward to their Euro Semi-Final clash with France.
England v France
UEFA U17 Championship Finals
7.15pm, Thursday 10 May 2007
John Peacock says his players will not be overawed when they line up against France on Thursday evening - despite a place in the final of the European Championships being at stake.
England have not won a major tournament since 1993, when the class of Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Robbie Fowler lifted the Under-18 European Championship.
With wins over Holland and Iceland and a draw against hosts Belgium, the current batch of young Lions are just two wins away from emulating that feat of 14 years ago, and Peacock says his players can't wait.
"They are relishing the challenge," insisted Peacock. "They will not be overawed even though they know they could be entering new territory. They don't seem to be fazed by it. They are in high spirits."
But before they can dream of a major final, England have the small matter of France to deal with. England's opponents from across the Channel qualified behind Spain in Group A, squeezing past Germany who also finished on four points.
Peacock will be scouring over his notes from when England met France in February, when Rhys Murphy put England ahead only for Thibault Bourgeois to equalise in the second half.
"It was a game of two halves," said Peacock. "We had the better of the first half, they had the better of the second half.
"I'm sure it will be a close game again. It's a Semi-Final, the prize is a big one - a place in the European final. We have fallen at this hurdle before. We don't want to do it again."
Peacock praised the mental toughness of the squad, particularly in a group so young.
"They have shown strong character to get here," he added. "In the Elite Qualifying Round, they needed to beat Serbia to get through, which they did. To a similar degree they did the same against Holland on Monday.
"They have worked so hard and are a joy to work with. They are very focused on what they want to achieve."