Midfielder Matthew James glad to be back in the fold.
England v Slovakia
7pm, Friday 29 May 2009
Coral Windows Stadium, Valley Parade, Bradford City FC
Ticket Hotline: 01274 770012
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England midfielder Matthew James believes the Young Lions will have to up their game even more if they want to collect a second successive win on Friday evening.
James and his team-mates got their Elite Qualifying Round campaign off to a winning start on Wednesday evening with a 2-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in Doncaster and they now face Slovakia this evening at Bradford City’s Valley Parade looking to make it two wins out of two.
That would give Brian Eastick’s team a good chance of progressing to the European Championship Finals in Ukraine this July, but the Manchester United playmaker believes Friday’s game will prove tough if not approached in the right manner.
“It was a difficult surface to play on against Bosnia, but we believe the pitch at Bradford will suit us better,” revealed the 17-year-old.
“I think Slovakia will be a lot better technically than Bosnia though, so we will need to be patient and concentrate for the full 90 minutes, try to break them down and get the result we want.
“We know that a second win will put us in a good position to go on and qualify for the Finals and that is our aim.”
This is James’ first involvement with the U19 squad, having previously been capped at both U16 and U17 level.
The Bacup-born ace is still young enough to be involved with the U18 age group, but his form for United’s reserve and Academy team this season saw Eastick put faith in him and name him in the starting line-up against Bosnia.
That filled James with pride and he’s now setting his sights on more caps as England look to extend their season by reaching the last eight of the competition.
“It’s good for me to be involved, especially to be playing above my age group,” he added.
“I’ve been trying to press for a call-up all year so to be in the squad and start the game on Wednesday was a real honour for me and I just want to keep it going.”Tickets for Friday’s game with Slovakia are on sale now, by calling the hotline on 01274 710023.