Peacock pleased with second half
Friday, 25 February, 2011
Head Coach happy with second 40 minutes against Romania.
by Glenn Lavery
John Peacock praised the way his England U17 side recovered from a disappointing first-half performance to earn a draw against Romania in their opening game of The Algarve Tournament.
As the Head Coach had predicted before the game, Romania sat back and were happy for England to retain possession, waiting to hit the Young Lions on the break. It was a counter attack that led to Gabriel Iancu’s opening goal after 25 minutes and Peacock believes his players will be better for that tactical experience.
"It was a big learning curve for the players in the first half,” he said. “They came up against something different than they are used to domestically, with Romania defending deep, but that's exactly the sort of challenge they will face at international level. That’s also why we gave a couple of lads their first start because we are here to see everyone play to see what they can do in different circumstances.
“We didn't play particularly well in those first 40 minutes, though. Romania had a lot of players behind the ball and tried to counter attack us when they could, and that's exactly how their goal came about. We found it difficult to produce the bit of quality that was required in the first half.”
However, after a half-time pep talk, England came out firing on all cylinders in the second period and got the equaliser just four minutes into the half through Cauley Woodrow on his international debut. Peacock believes this goal was just reward for a much improved second-half display from his charges.
“We played a bit higher up the pitch and got the back players coming out with the ball a bit more. We managed to stretch the pitch and got players into wider areas and, as a result, played much better.
“It was a disappointing first 40 minutes but I'm far happier with how we played in the second. A draw was probably a fair result and in the end there were plenty of plus points - that's the main thing.
“I'm pleased for Cauley, too. It's quite rare that a player scores on their first international start and I'm sure he'll remember that for a very long time.”
There is hardly any time for England to reflect on yesterday’s performance, though, as they are back in action this afternoon, against Germany, and Peacock knows exactly where his team must improve ahead of the game.
“We need to start the game brighter and pass the ball a bit better and a bit quicker, like we know we can.
“Germany will be a different proposition. They will be a bit more adventurous in some of their play and we have to compete with that. They were beaten 2-1 by Portugal in their opening match, so they'll be looking to get something from their game with us. It will no doubt be a tight England v Germany game and hopefully we come away with a good result at the end of it.”