John Peacock returned from Tel Aviv a frustrated man after England failed to reach the Euros.
A frustrated John Peacock returned from Tel Aviv on Monday night to reflect on England's failure to reach the U17 European Championships.
The young Lions drew with France and lost to Russia - two results that extinguished England's hopes of qualifying. They recovered to draw with hosts Israel in their final Elite Round Tournament fixture but still finished bottom of a group they had expectations of winning.
"I'm obviously very disappointed, we all are," said the Head Coach, who took last year's U17s to the Final of the European Championships.
"It's hard to take, especially when you see France are the side going through. But that's youth football - there are so many ups and downs. It's frustrating though."
This age group have played France three times since U16 level, winning twice and drawing once. However, it was that last result which proved costly. Deservedly leading through Jack Rodwell's goal, England dominated only to concede two minutes from time.
France went on to win their remaining two games while England stuttered along, picking up just one more point.
"We were the better team against France, no doubt about it," insisted Peacock.
"An outsider watching the game would have said we were the better side. We should have come away with three points rather than one. If we had got three points from that game we would have pushed on from there.
"That we were better than France makes it even harder to accept that they won the group and will play in the European Championships. Credit to them though. They won the second and third games which we couldn't do."
The script was the same when England lost 3-2 to Russia, two sloppy first half goals proving crucial after they had bossed proceedings, meaning the 2-2 draw with Israel proved irrelevant.
"The Russia game killed us," said Peacock. "After dominating the first 30 minutes we dropped deep and conceded two poor goals. That cost us dear. You can't legislate for poor defending.
"It was the same story against Israel. At least we salvaged some pride with an excellent goal at the end."
Ironically, England's defending up until the tournament had been watertight. They had not let in a goal in their previous six games but capitulated in Tel Aviv.
But Peacock refused to lay the blame at the defence's door and said the whole squad must go away and work on their game.
"There are two things we highlighted afterwards," he said. "The first was game management. When you are leading, it's important you stay in front. Also, if you concede a sucker punch of a goal, you have to stay in the game. We did not withstand pressure well.
"The second point was one-on-ones, both in attacking and defending situations. We need to be positive in the last third. You must have pace too.
"Look at Cristiano Ronaldo. He's a shining example to every young player. It's something that's lacking in our game. You need to be positive and take the occasional risk."