Brian Eastick was happy with his side on Tuesday, given their short spell of preparation time.
International U19 Friendly
7pm, Tuesday 5 February 2008
County Ground, Swindon Town FC
England U19s Head Coach Brian Eastick felt happy with his side’s performance on Tuesday night, given that the squad had only one day in which to prepare for their game with Croatia.
Goals from Scott Sinclair and Ciaran Clark were enough to secure a 2-0 victory at Swindon Town’s County Ground in what were difficult conditions with strong winds and heavy rain.
With one more friendly game to play against Russia in March before the team face their European Championships second qualifying round in May, Eastick was glad to see his team stick to their objectives over the 90 minutes.
“The two things I asked them to do were to win the game and keep a clean sheet, so it was a decent performance,” admitted Eastick.
“There are one or two areas that we need to improve on, but unfortunately we don’t get enough preparation time and we only had one day of preparation for this game and it will be the same again for Russia.
“Before the qualifiers against Serbia, Poland and Belarus we get five or six days running where we can tidy up some of the things we need to, but overall it was pleasing tonight.
“I thought in patches we played some very good football and we’re pleased with the clean sheet because if you’re going to win tournaments, you’ve got to keep clean sheets in order to win football matches.
“I thought our two centre halves Ciaran Clark and James Tomkins were outstanding, really first class.”
With eastern European opposition coming up in the aforementioned qualifiers, Eastick also felt that Croatia provided the ideal opposition for his team, given their renowned technical ability and style of play.
“I think Croatia are a decent team,” he admitted.
“They are a young nation and I think you can see with what happened to our senior team that they’ve got some very good technical players and the U19s had some very good players too.”
Eastick was also delighted with the way in which his charges adapted to the elements in Wiltshire and managed to overcome the challenge and secure victory.
“The pitch was very heavy, which wasn’t conducive to running with the ball and shifting the ball particularly quickly, but it was a decent game of football and a decent standard,” he added.
“The wind was very difficult as well and I don’t think that would have appeared from the stand.”