Brian Eastick felt his team were good value for their win against the Netherlands on Tuesday.
International U19 Friendly
7.45pm, Tuesday 9 September 2008
The Prostar Stadium, Shrewsbury Town FC
Live on Setanta
England U19s got their season off to a winning start on Tuesday evening, with a fully warranted 2-1 scoreline against the Netherlands and it was a performance which pleased Head Coach Brian Eastick.
With the first round of qualifiers for the European Championships coming up early in October, Eastick had previously spoken of this game being a good test for his team.
That was exactly how it proved, with the Young Lions having to come back from being a goal down to seal victory courtesy of two second half strikes from Rhys Murphy.
The final outcome was nothing that England didn’t deserve and Eastick was satisfied with his team’s work out.
“It was very pleasing, Holland are a good team,” said Eastick.
“It was nip and tuck in the first half, but we missed some very good chances and played some terrific football so their goal knocked us back on our heels a little bit even though it was a great finish from the Dutch player.
“We played some great stuff in the second half though and whilst they put us under the cosh a little bit in the last ten minutes, I expected that as they are a decent team.
“We showed some great character though. We put one or two things right at half time to improve in the second half tactically and I thought we played some very good football at times in the game.”
After the Lions took the lead with 20 minutes of the game remaining, the Netherlands pushed hard to find an equaliser but England held firm and saw out the game although Eastick admits his team could’ve dealt with the last few minutes of action in a better way.
“We could have managed the game better in the last 10 or 15 minutes in terms of trying to win the game 3-1 instead of playing a bit compacter and keeping possession of the ball, even though it might have been out through our defence,” he explained.
“There were one or two tired legs out there too, as a few of the players hadn’t played for a while and with the substitutes coming on and off, it always gets a bit messy in the last 20 minutes.
“But overall, it was a very good game of football, good quality from both sides and we learnt a lot from it.”
Eastick was also delighted to see Murphy get the goals. The Arsenal starlet had a fine campaign with the U17 team two seasons ago and may have been involved with the U19s last season only to see his term disrupted by injury.
“He’s quite happy with his goals, although I don’t think he was too happy about playing on the right,” revealed Eastick.
“He’s very versatile though, and speaking to his club coaches, they all realise that and I know John Peacock used him in a few different positions too.
“He’s a good player though and it’s important that he’s got that flexibility.”
England: Jason Steele, Kieran Trippier, Lee Hills (Matthew Briggs, 78) Jack Rodwell (Michael Woods, 46) Krystian Pearce, Gavin Hoyte, Jonathan Franks (Jay Thomas, 60) Henri Lansbury (c), Daniel Welbeck, Rhys Murphy, Victor Moses (Medy Elito, 73).
Subs not used: Ben Amos.
Netherlands: Leonard Nienhuis, Ridny Cairo, Mart Dijkstra (Kaj Ramsteijn, 46) Jeffrey Nuland (Rico Wolven, 46) Partick van Aanholt (Kay Velda, 51) Marco Vejinovic (c), Nacer Barazite, Ben Rienstra (Richard Stolte, 46) Genero Zeefuik (Lars Hutten, 77) Georginio Wijnaldum, Luciano Narsingh (Soufiane Dadda, 72)
Subs not used: Jeroen Zoet.
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistant Referees: Andy Newbold & Nick Hobbis
Fourth Official: Dean Mohareb