Andre's giant motivation
Glenn Lavery in Liechtenstein
Friday, 21 May, 2010
Andre Wisdom wants the U17s to leave their mark in Liechtenstein.
UEFA European U17 Championship
Live on Eurosport
By Glenn Lavery in Liechtenstein
England defender Andre Wisdom has articulated his desire to help guide his country to their first-ever success in the UEFA European U17 Championship Finals.
John Peacock’s side are in Liechtenstein where they are aiming to overcome the seven other Finalists, including five previous tournament winners, in order to write their names into the annals of history. They got off to an impressive start, too, as they came from a goal down to beat Czech Republic 3-1 in their Group B opener.
Tonight, they face Greece and they know a second victory could book them a place in the last four with a game to spare.
“The fact that England have never won this tournament motivates us,” said Wisdom ahead of the game. “We want to write our names into the record books. We want to win all our games, whether it’s a friendly, the qualifiers or the Finals. But this is a big competition and it would be great to win it. In saying that, though, our aim is always just to go out and win the next game and take it from there. I know we can’t get carried away.”
If England are victorious in Vaduz and Turkey beat Czech Republic in the other group game then both England and Turkey will qualify for the semi-finals where they will face either Spain, Portugal, France or Switzerland, the quartet that make up Group A.
“It will be in our heads,” said Wisdom, of this scenario. “We will be going out to win the game anyway and if we do, and that gets us through to the semi-final, then great. But if we have to wait until the third game then we will. We will try our best but we know Greece won’t be an easy game; they’re at these Finals for a reason.”
Wisdom played the full 80 minutes against Czech Republic and believes victory over the Czechs and the manner of the performance has given England reason for optimism as they prepare to take on Leonidas Vokolos’s side.
“We were patient and we passed the ball around well,” he reflected. “We conceded a soft goal but after that I thought we controlled the game. It was a solid performance and a good platform for us to build on for the rest of the tournament.”
Wisdom, like the majority of this squad, has been playing international football for almost two years now and in that time he has helped England triumph in the Victory Shield, the Nordic Tournament and the Algarve Tournament. He is also comfortable in midfield but wherever he plays he admits that he is always looking to improve and says his team-mates have an identical aspiration.
“I’ve sat down with John [Peacock] and Kenny [Swain, the U17s’ Assistant Coach] and they have said that I done my job quite well [against Czech Republic] and they’ve told me to keep that going and to keep making the right decisions.
“But, as a squad, we all reflect on our own performances after games and talk about what we could improve on. For example, they caught us sleeping for their goal. It’s disappointing to concede at any time but it’s especially disappointing to concede from a set piece. We could have organised ourselves better and marked a bit tighter, but, being young players I suppose we’ve still got a lot more to learn, but we’ll hopefully correct things like that in the next game and then just keep on progressing.
“I’m sharing a room with Benik [Afobe] on this trip and we’ll both tell each other what we thought about the other’s game,” continued Wisdom. “We talk about the last game or the next game and we’ve also talked about what it would be like to get to the Final. It would be amazing, but we know we can’t get too excited and we’ve just got to think about the next game.”
That next game is against Greece and a victory would bring England a step closer to glory.