Peacock pleased with Euro win
Tuesday, 27 March, 2012
Head Coach John Peacock delighted with victory in Elite Round opener.
John Peacock applauded his young team after they deservedly beat Ukraine 1-0 in the opening match of the Elite Qualifying Round for this summer’s U17 Euros.
Southampton’s Calum Chambers scored the winner just before the hour mark and the Head Coach was pleased with the way England performed throughout. Ukraine were reduced to ten men before the break, but Peacock’s charges had already gained the upper hand in terms of possession and chances created.
“We played well and got into our stride early, which was pleasing,” said Peacock. “Ukraine pressed us high up the pitch and they were very good on the counter-attack so we had to be wary of that.
“We were in the ascendancy even before the red card and if we were a little more clinical in and around the box we would have gone in ahead at half-time. But credit to the Ukrainians, they had a great work ethic, they kept working with ten men and made it hard for us. It was just a question of getting that first goal, which thankfully we managed to do.”
This win has catapulted England to the top of Group 3 as the host nation, Georgia, drew 1-1 with Spain earlier in the day. Only the top-placed team qualify for the Finals and Peacock articulated his satisfaction with his side putting themselves in pole position so early on in the group.
“I’ve said this a few times since the draw was made; we are in what is probably the toughest group of the seven [Elite Round groups].
“There are no easy games and to get three points in our opening game could prove crucial. We would like to have scored a few more goals, but we are delighted to be sitting top of the group after day one.”
Next up for England is a meeting with Georgia on Wednesday and Peacock has long predicted a tough test from the hosts.
“Georgia have had some good results recently and they will be in confident mood after that draw with Spain,” he said. “It won’t be easy, as no game will be in this group. We’ve got to make sure that we are 100 per cent focused on getting the right result.
“But they have done well all week,” he said of his players in conclusion. “They have been focused and they have trained very well. They try to do the right things and I’m pleased with how they set about things in the opening game.
“The acid test is to see if they can keep that going for another two games.”