Last chance saloon
Nicholas Veevers in Suez
Friday, 02 October, 2009
U20s Head Coach expects victory from must-win group game.
England U20 Head Coach Brian Eastick says he expects his team to finish their World Cup group games with a bang and pick up a victory to give themselves a chance to progress to the Second Round.
Defeats in the opening two matches with Uruguay and Ghana have left England with an uphill take to qualify for the last 16, but with four of the best third placed teams from the six groups also going through, there is still hope.
However, Eastick acknowledges that there will have to be a distinct improvement from his team if they want to achieve that.
“We’ve not played well enough in the first two matches to win those games, that’s quite clear,” he admitted ahead of Friday’s game in Suez.
“The first game against Uruguay was a good performance and a very close game, but the second game was a different story.
“Ghana are a very good team, both athletically and technically.
“We had a few struggling with illness, and perhaps one or two who started shouldn’t have started because of that illness and I think when you’re playing a team like Ghana, you need to have all players absolutely 100 per cent and at their full potential.
“We still had one or two chances though, hit the crossbar and could’ve been a goal up.
“So we need to improve and I think we will improve.”
Uzbekistan have also lost their first two games, but having scored against Ghana are currently edging ahead of England on goal difference.
Now Eastick is targeting nothing less than a win in order to give his squad as much chance as possible to keep their World Cup dreams alive having initially highlighted the Second Round as his target at the start of the competition.
“We need to beat Uzbekistan though, that’s for sure,” he said.
“We expect to win on Friday.
“The group table is probably a fair reflection on the teams so far, with Uruguay and Ghana out in front.
“But we have a chance of going through still and both teams are in the same position. The Uzbekistan coach will be saying the same thing to his players that I’ll be saying to mine.
“I think it will be an open game and I think both teams will go for a win, so I expect us to score at least one goal.
“I’ll be disappointed if we don’t put a good performance in or get a win against Uzbekistan.
“It will then be down to how the other results go to see if we go through or not, the players are very determined though.”
The game kicks-off at 8.30pm and is live on Eurosport.