Blake upbeat despite defeat
Friday, 07 September, 2012
U19s Head Coach takes many positives from 3-1 reverse against in Hamburg.
England U19s Head Coach Noel Blake put the disappointment of defeat behind him to find a number of positives from his side's reverse against Germany on Thursday evening.
It was the U19s' first game of the new season as Blake prepares his charges for next month's Euro qualifiers in Estonia and they were caught cold at the start of each half in Hamburg, as Liverpool striker Samed Yesil scored after two minutes of the kick-off and then the same time after the re-start.
But Blake felt the scoreline didn't tell the true story of the game and on another occasion, it could quite easily have gone the other way, but with plenty of positives to draw upon, the former Birmingham City, Leeds and Portsmouth defender knows where his side can improve.
"I'm obviously disappointed with the result tonight, but I thought we played some really good football tonight," he said. "However, whenever you get beat it's always an issue, because you never want to get beat.
"The most disappointing thing was the way we started, conceding early goals in each half, so that concerns me and we will have to improve on that very quickly in time for the qualifiers. But it's a learning process for the team and Germany are a excellent side.
"The goals came from lapses in concentration for a split second and at this level, the strikers will make you pay. There was a little bit of clever play in our box, we should've cleared our lines and that's what has cost us but we will learn from this and the team will develop into better players."
England's performance after that early goal was what pleased Blake the most though, as they equalised through a fine goal from Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell.
"After the first 15 minutes, we really took the game to the Germans," he added. "We drove at them and equalised through a terrific goal from young Nick Powell, and dare I say, we were unlucky not to go in at half time with the lead.
"We retained the ball for large percentages of the game and there were some great performances from our side tonight."
After the break, Germany retook the lead with two goals just over ten minutes apart but with Blake opting to look at his options ahead of the qualifiers in October, he was able to make six substitutions and it was the reaction from the home crowd to those changes which he feels is a good illustration of how England fared.
"I changed things up in the second half and it was fantastic to see the German crowd clap our players off the pitch when making the changes," he added. "That's a measure of how well some of them played."