Ryan Bertrand believes the mood in the U20s camp bodes well for the World Cup.
England v Italy
7pm, Tuesday 31 March 2009
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Ryan Bertrand believes that team spirit can play a big role in helping England prepare for September’s U20 World Cup.
The Chelsea defender, currently on loan with Norwich City, has been involved at several age groups with the Young Lions along with many of his squad mates culminating in a trip to the European U19 Championship Finals last summer.
England’s performance there saw them qualify for the World Cup in Egypt and as the players have grown used to one another over the years, Bertrand believes it can only work in their favour.
“It should be a massive advantage for us,” said the 19-year-old, ahead of Tuesday’s game with Italy.
“A lot of the boys in the squad have grown up together since the U17 team, so it’s been a good experience for all of us and hopefully we can gel together again and do well.
“Out of all the boys that we’ve got, we try to play football and a lot of us are now playing first team football so that shows the progress that we’ve made as individuals and hopefully that can now benefit us as a team.”
The London-born left-back has aided his development this season by spending the campaign on loan at Championship outfit Norwich City and his form for the Canaries saw him spend time with Stuart Pearce’s Under-21 squad late last year and make his debut with a substitute appearance against Czech Republic at Bramall Lane.
Having now had a taste at that level, Bertrand is hungry for more and knows that the U20s team can give him a perfect platform from which to impress.
“It was great to be involved with the Under-21s this season and obviously that’s the main aim for all of us now because that’s the next level,” he added.
“With the build-up to the World Cup, there are going to be a few chances to impress and if we want to progress to the Under-21s we’ve got to make sure we play well and that we do well in the competition.
“I think everyone knows that if we can do that, we might get our chance.”