Thursday, 22 July, 2010
Head Coach takes the positives from his side's improved performance.
Nicholas Veevers in Caen
UEFA European U19 Championships
England U19 Head Coach Noel Blake believes his side can take the positive aspects from their second half performance against Holland into their final Group A game with France at the weekend.
After a slow start to the game in Bayeaux, the Young Lions found themselves a goal down after just six minutes to the Dutch, who desperately needed a win to stay in the competition.
However, Blake was pleased with his team’s response in the second half though, when it looked like they had drawn level only to see Nathan Delfouneso’s strike ruled out for an apparent handball.
The general consensus around the Stade Henry Jeanne was that it was a harsh decision, but Blake refused to dwell on that and is just keen to now focus on the final game against the hosts on Saturday.
“I’m one of these people with things like this and if the referee sees it, it wasn’t a goal,” he said.
“From my angle, I couldn’t see an infringement and none of the players saw an infringement but if he said it wasn’t a goal, it wasn’t a goal.
“I’m obviously disappointed that we lost the game, but the major thing that I’m disappointed with is the way that we started the game, I thought we looked nervous and hesitant.”
With the Dutch in the lead, Blake opted to have a shuffle around with his team and he felt that sparked an improvement which could’ve yielded a point.
“After the change, I thought we gradually got a foothold in the game and started to get into it and from the second half performance, I thought we deserved something out of it, I really did,” he added.
“There was great effort and endeavour and our passing got better as the game went on, the decision making in the front and midfield areas got better.
“Equally, at times, they could have caught us on the counter attack but we dealt with that quite well too and overall we did well in the second half.
“I think we just need to be a bit tidier and clinical in the final third and if we can add that to the ingredients we’ve got at the moment, I think we’re getting there.”