Spirited revival pleases Peacock
Thursday, 26 August, 2010
Head Coach praises his side's character in 2-2 draw.
by Glenn Lavery
Click here to watch video highlights of the game.
After watching England come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Turkey in their FA International U17 Tournament opener, John Peacock praised his side’s character which allowed them to launch a second-half revival.
Ibrahim Yilmaz grabbed a first-half brace to give the visitors a deserved two-goal cushion at half-time but England improved greatly after the break and Hallam Hope’s penalty and a Matty Regan header levelled the scores within ten minutes of the restart.
England denied Abdullah Ercan’s side the time and space they had been granted in the opening 40 minutes and might have won the game late on had substitute Adam Morgan not dragged a close-range shot wide of the post.
“To come from 2-0 down I thought we showed a lot of fight and a never-say-die attitude, which is very pleasing,” said Peacock. “We've come out of the game with a lot of plusses, certainly in the second half. It's been a fantastic learning curve for the players.
“To be fair to Turkey, though, they've got some good players and when given that amount of space to play, we couldn't quite get near them in the first period and consequently we found ourselves 2-0 down.”
So, what was Peacock’s message to his players at half-time?
"To get a lot tighter and to become more compact,” he revealed. “For the wide players to tuck in a bit more when we didn't have the ball and for the defenders to be a bit closer to the midfielders. The engine room is the midfield area and we needed to support the middle three a bit better than we did on the first half.
"I have to say, the lads took it to the letter really. We made a very bright start to the second half and that gave the boys a bit of confidence, which is good. There was only one team that was going to win the game in the second half and that was us.”
The two second-half goals allowed England to avoid a repeat of last season’s Tournament defeat to Turkey and it also gave the hosts a valuable opening-day point in what is traditionally a very tight competition. But with Australia providing the opposition on Friday, Peacock knows his young side must get out of the blocks quicker.
“In tournament football it’s always important that you get something from your first game,” said Peacock. “We’ve done that but we need to build on it and get better.
“It’s always nice when you finish a game strongly, but we can’t rely on a strong finish in every game and we need to start better against Australia.”
This is the first time this band of players have come under Peacock’s tutelage and they have impressed their Head Coach so far.
"They are here this week to show me what they can do and show me what’s on offer because these games are preparation for [October’s] European qualifiers. We want to look at everybody and give them a fair chance. We’ve got a big pool of players to look at but we can obviously only select 18 for this Tournament and they’ve been great all week.
“They’ve tried to take on everything that’s been asked of them, they just didn’t start so well against Turkey, but they finished very positively and I’m looking forward to the game on Friday.”