No complaints from Blake
Tuesday, 27 July, 2010
Head Coach hails Spain as the best he’s seen at this level.
Noel Blake’s U19 team had their European Championship campaign brought to an end at the hands of Spain on Tuesday afternoon, and whilst the Head Coach was understandably disappointed not to help the Young Lions reach a second successive Final in this competition, he made no excuses for the result and proclaimed Luis Milla’s side the best he has ever seen at this level.
Whilst England had a number of opportunities to score more than John Bostock’s first half volley, Blake still felt his team had more than met their match in Saint-Lo.
“It’s always disappointing to lose a football match, but I have no real complaints,” he said after the game.
“We felt we started the game reasonably well, but from our point of view, we stopped doing the basics well enough or consistently enough.
“I have to say that, since I’ve been with the organisation, this is the best youth team that I’ve seen.
“In terms of getting the basics right, they are the best I’ve seen at any level but equally, we created a number of good situations and didn’t capitalise on it.
“So I have no qualms about the actual result, we gave it a good shot and I said to the boys that to finish in the top four in Europe is a definite achievement for them.
“We failed by trying to do the right things but I’d rather see us do that than go the other way.”
This was only England’s second defeat of the whole season, which encompassed 13 matches in total to see them contesting in the last eight of Europe for the third successive year.
Not only that, but by finishing in the top six European sides, England have also qualified for next year’s FIFA U20 World Cup which was one of Blake’s initial aims from the competition.
“We came here with a couple of objectives, firstly to get to the World Cup Finals and we’ve achieved that and then to get out of the group stages and we’ve achieved that,” he added.
“Another one was to go all the way, we’ve just fallen a bit short but to finish in the last four of any major tournament is credible.
“Overall though, I’m just pleased with the guys because they gave it their best shot and shown a lot of spirit and played some good football but today, I have no arguments with the result.”