'A lot more to come from us'
Monday, 19 July, 2010
Noel Blake was happy with Sunday's result, but not so much the performance.
Nicholas Veevers in Caen
England U19s made a winning start to the European Championship Finals on Sunday, seeing off Austria in an entertaining encounter in Flers but Head Coach Noel Blake admitted afterwards he felt his team could have done much better.
After leading 2-0 at half time thanks to two goals from Frank Nouble, an Austrian fightback in the second half could’ve seen the game end level which left Blake frustrated.
“It was a very open game and at one stage, either team could have won it,” he admitted.
“I thought we made it difficult for ourselves at times and, if I’m honest, one or two of my players didn’t recognise the strength of the Austrians.
“They’re a good all-round side and the lads knew that from watching the DVDS, but I thought a few of our players still took a bit of a liberty.
“Sometimes you need that wake-up call and maybe that was ours today. I expressed that to them at full time.”
Blake was still delighted to take three points from the opening game though, which is always a good start to any competition at international level given what is often at stake.
“It’s only the first game of a tournament and it’s important you don’t lose, so we’re pleased with the win,” he added.
“There’s a lot more to come from us I feel. It’s a tricky one in the first game because you’re semi-cautious that you don’t want to lose the first game as it’s then hard to pick up again.
“I thought it was a good game though, with two teams trying to score goals and play the right way as well.
“We’ve scored three goals, but I’m disappointed with the ones we’ve conceded because this team doesn’t generally concede many.”
The Young Lions now face Netherlands on Wednesday in their second game, knowing that a similar outcome will more than likely be enough to see them through to the last four.
“It’ll be a tough game,” said Blake. “We know what Holland are about and they know what we are about. We played them in February and drew 1-1 over there.”