A good week's work
Monday, 28 February, 2011
John Peacock reflects on Algarve Tournament campaign.
After watching his side draw 2-2 with Portugal in the final match of The Algarve Tournament, England U17 Head Coach John Peacock reflected positively on the week’s work.
This annual friendly tournament acts as a pre-cursor to England’s UEFA European U17 European Championship Elite Qualifying Round campaign, and with Northern Ireland, Spain and Belgium laying in wait next month, Peacock used the three games in the Algarve to help finalise his squad for those qualifiers.
The Young Lions opened with a 1-1 draw against Romania, followed by a 3-1 defeat to Germany 24 hours later before rounding things off against Portugal.
“This week was all about giving players time to perform on the pitch,” Peacock explained. “We rotated players round during the three games and everyone has had a fair amount of game time, which was the main objective of the trip.
“It was an extremely worthwhile exercise,” he continued. “There were a few players that I hadn’t seen at close quarters before and we had a couple of new caps in the group, so it’s given us a clearer picture of the 18 players we’ll pick for the qualifiers in March.
And what of the performance against Portugal, when England were 2-0 up inside 18 minutes courtesy of a goal apiece for Alex Henshall and Adam Jackson, before being pegged back in the second half?
“I was very pleased with our performance,” Peacock admitted.
“We passed the ball better in the Germany game than we did against Romania. We kept that going in the first period against Portugal and came in at half-time deservedly 2-0 up.
“We lost two players in the first half meaning I had to make changes sooner than I’d have liked. I made another couple of changes at half-time and went into the second half looking to keep a clean sheet and to manage the game as best we could.
“Unfortunately, we also lost Jordan Cousins to a head injury, a few minutes after the break so we had to change things again.
“We had the first half, they had the second half, but we certainly weren’t helped by the injuries we suffered.
“All in all, it was a very good experience and the lads have given a lot this week.”