A solid start
Wednesday, 19 May, 2010
John Peacock pleased with victory over Czech Republic in Euro opener.
Glenn Lavery in Liechtenstein
UEFA European U17 Championship
By Glenn Lavery in Liechtenstein
After watching his side come from behind to defeat Czech Republic 3-1 in their opening match of the UEFA European U17 Championship Finals, the England Head Coach, John Peacock, expressed delight at the winning start made by his charges.
England found themselves 1-0 down after just seven minutes when loose marking allowed Jakub Plšek to steer Tomáš Česlák’s free-kick into the bottom corner of the net. Ross Barkley equalised for England on 20 minutes, crashing the ball beyond Vlastimil Veselý after Will Keane’s low cross was only half-cleared. Josh McEachran finished off a fine move on 68 minutes, clipping the ball over Veselý from close range, and Benik Afobe wrapped up the three points with a deflected drive just moments later.
“I always knew the Czech Republic would be a tough game,” said Peacock after the game. “I always knew they’d be very organised, very disciplined throughout the match and they were. I don’t think we helped ourselves when we started very well and then unfortunately conceded what, from our opinion, was a poor goal from a set play, which made it a bit more difficult for us to claw our way back into the match. But, thankfully we did that and we just had to have a few words at half-time just to try and raise the tempo of the game a little bit and to keep doing the things we know we are best at. Thankfully we came out of the game victorious in the end.”
This victory leaves England tied with Turkey at the top of Group B after the Turks defeat of Greece last night. The top two nations in the group will go on to contest the semi-finals against either Spain, France, Portugal or Switzerland but, despite his satisfaction with the three points, Peacock is refusing to get carried away.
“We obviously have to build on that performance,” he said. “The first game in any championship is always going to be a tough one. I think we can take a lot of pluses from the game [but] there are things I think we still need to work on. All in all, getting three points I’m very pleased with but there’s still a long way to go.”
Peacock must now prepare his side for their second group match, against Greece on Friday, and he warned his players of the dangers of facing a side who will be aiming to make amends for their opening day defeat.
“We know that Greece were beaten [by Turkey] so they’ll be working very hard to try and get a result on Friday,” said Peacock. “Now the Czech Republic game has finished, we will focus on the Greeks and look very closely at what we need to do. Thankfully we got the three points and that’s a good start, but we know the game against Greece will be a very, very tough one, because it gives them a chance to recover from their opening defeat.”