Kyle keen to learn
By Nicholas Veevers in Donetsk
Monday, 27 July, 2009
U19s defender Kyle Walker speaks on the crossover between club and country.
England defender Kyle Walker is preparing for his third game in the space of a week on Mondayevening, as the Young Lions get ready to face Slovenia in their final Group A match of the European Championship finals in Ukraine.
They know that a win will be good enough to seal a semi-final spot and Walker feels the squad have more than enough belief and ability to get them to the next stage.
“We need a win to get through, so we’ve just got to go into it as we have with the last two games and see where it gets us,” said the latest Tottenham Hotspur signing.
“It puts a bit of pressure on us, but I’m sure that everyone here is quite comfortable with pressure.
“A win would be ideal, but if we draw, we can still go through so we’ll just see how it goes.”
It’s already been an interesting few weeks for Walker, who had to leave the England camp the day before they travelled out to Ukraine in order to finalise his move to White Hart Lane, before linking up with the squad again a few days later and then playing in two different positions in the first couple of games.
Naturally recognised as a right-back where he sprung to prominence at Sheffield United last season, he then teamed up with fellow full-back Matthew Briggs in the Ukraine game to play in the centre of defence.
And whilst that may raise a few eyebrows, Walker revealed it’s not an entirely new role for him to perform.
“I’d played a couple of games there in the reserves for Sheffield United, so I didn’t find it that different,” he explained.
“You don’t have to do as much running, but if you’re up against a clever forward you’re going to have your work cut out, but apart from that you’ve just got to defend and head the ball a bit more and as a full back you have to get forward a bit more.
“Me and Matty are both quite tall so that helps when it comes to heading the ball and Gavin Hoyte is a quality centre half too, so it’s all about learning.”
One thing that Walker does acknowledge though is the difference between international football and domestic football back in England.
Having only made his England bow earlier this year against Spain and then with a second appearance against Czech Republic in March, it is still enough for him to have noticed the difference.
“A lot of the play comes from the back in international football, whereas in the Championship it’s a bit more rushed and it’s a bit more patient here,” he said.
“I feel that I’m quite comfortable on the ball though, although you’re always looking to improve and I’m no different.”