Baker keen to make amends
Saturday, 24 July, 2010
Defender determined to help England beat France and reach the semi-final.
After missing out on last year’s European Championship Finals through injury, England defender Nathan Baker is hoping he can make up for that by helping the Young Lions into the semi-final against France on Saturday.
The Aston Villa man, who has played in both of England’s games in France so far, was in the initial squad for last year’s Finals in Ukraine but picked up an unfortunate injury just days before the squad travelled to Donetsk.
Now, he knows that England need a win to definitely secure a place in the last four and is determined to play his part.
"It was disappointing to miss out just before we went to the Finals last year and last season I had a few injuries otherwise, but touch wood, this year is going to be better and I can go on from there,” he said.
“We're in a hard position where we have to go and do it against France, who are the host nation as well.
"If we can do that, and get a win, then I think we can go on from there. It'll be tough, we know that, especially with them being the home nation and the confidence they will have from two big wins.
"They'll want to beat England too, because we knocked them out in the semi-finals last year.
"There will be a big crowd there, as well as a lot of their first team coaches so they will want to impress them.”
Baker has also filled two roles for the team, in his natural position of central defence and then as a left-back in the second game against Holland but he admits he is more than comfortable in either slot.
"I don't mind playing either position to be honest,” he revealed.
“We've struggled at left-back because Briggsy (Matthew Briggs) is missing with his hamstring injury, so I went there because I'm left footed and it made sense as opposed to a right footed player at left-back.
"I've do enjoy playing there sometimes and I've done it before, as you can get forward and there's a bit more license to do that.
"We'll have a look at France on the DVD later on today and again tomorrow, to know what we're up against, but we know that we have to win to stand a good chance of going through.”