John Peacock has spoken of the squad's importance ahead of Monday's game with Spain.
Spain v England
UEFA European U17 Championship
First Qualifying Round
8.30pm, Monday 27 October 2008
Campo los Cuartos, Tenerife, Spain
Click here for competition details
As England U17s prepare for Monday’s game with Spain, their final match in the First Qualifying Round, Head Coach John Peacock has spoken of the importance of all 18 members of his squad.
The Young Lions know that a draw against the hosts will be good enough to see them through to the Elite Qualifying Round which takes place next year, but Peacock wants his team to go all out for victory and top the group.
After being held to a 0-0 draw in their opening game with Armenia, England responded in their second match on Friday night by smashing home seven goals against Estonia.
Whilst Spain top the group following their two wins so far and have sealed their qualification, if England lost on Monday and Armenia beat Estonia then it would come down to goal difference.
“We know that a draw against Spain will be good enough,” Peacock told TheFA.com.
“But we don’t want to go into the game looking for a draw, we want to try and win the group so that’s what we’ll try to do.”
Peacock also spoke about how important the role of the entire squad is. He made numerous changes to the team for the second game, but was pleased with the response, as substitutes Jonjo Shelvey and Liam Head (pictured below) both came on to score.
“We have mentioned to the players and have been on the case all week so far that the squad is so important,” he added.
“We have an 18 man squad and we’re not going to go through with just eleven players by any stretch of the imagination.
“I’ve said to the lads who won’t be starting that although they’ll be disappointed, what they must do is prepare properly and be ready to come on at any given time.
“They have all bought into that and I’m looking forward to the reaction that we will get from the players on the pitch and those off the pitch that aren’t starting.”
This trip has been the first experience of European qualification for most of the players and having met up well over a week ago to begin their preparations, Peacock has been pleased with how the players have coped with the situation.
“The squad have gelled very nicely,” he revealed.
“The majority of the lads know each other in any case and we’ve had one-to-one chats with all of the lads this week to see how they are and getting to know them a bit better and we’ll continue to do that.
“Everyone seems to get on and the acid test will be how we are on Tuesday after the final game and whether we’ve been successful enough to reach the next stage.”
*Withdrawn from the squad and replaced by Liam Head of Plymouth Argyle.
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