Peacock lauds Lions' character
Sunday, 27 March, 2011
Head Coach happy with his side's spirit in win over Northern Ireland.
by Glenn Lavery
John Peacock expressed satisfaction with the way his England U17 side came from a goal down to beat Northern Ireland in their opening European Championship Elite Round Qualifier.
The Young Lions were on top in the early stages but fell behind to Seamus McCartan’s 35th-minute strike. Blair Turgott equalised just before the half-time whistle and Hallam Hope and Nick Powell put England firmly in the driving seat less than ten minutes after the restart. McCartan reduced arrears from the penalty spot, but England held out to claim all three points.
“I’m very pleased,” the Head Coach said in summary.
“I was in no doubt that we could win the game, but it takes a bit of self belief and courage for the players to go out and do that, especially after going behind.
"You have to give credit to Northern Ireland. We must have created four or five really, really good chances in the opening 20 minutes and their ‘keeper has made some fantastic saves. We could have been 4-0 up and although they were outplayed for the first 25-30 minutes, they kept going and managed to get their noses in front.
“There’s a good spirit in the camp, though, and they all go about their job properly. We tried to pass the ball around and showed good quality when trying to get it from back to front. We stuck together and tried to keep doing the right things and it paid dividends in the end. We could have had more goals and we certainly could have made it easier for ourselves but we’ve got three points on the table, which is very pleasing.”
With an all-British affair out of the way, Peacock must now prepare his charges for a different test against the host nation, Belgium, who they face on Monday. Eric Abrams’ side led for most of the game against Spain in their opening game but then succumbed to three goals in the final 18 minutes.
“Belgium need to win the game on Monday to have any chance of progressing further so it will be another really tough game,” Peacock predicted.
“We’ll have to show the same qualities in our attacking play but we’ll need to make sure that we are a little bit more ruthless when defending and we need to cut out the silly mistakes. I’m looking forward to another very tough game.”