Eastick: 'Two points lost'
Saturday, 30 July, 2011
Head Coach reflects on first-half opportunities missed.
By Nicholas Veevers in Medellin
England U20s Head Coach Brian Eastick was left to rue the opportunities missed by his side after their World Cup opener against Korea DPR in Colombia.
The Young Lions dominated possession and chances created over the 90 minutes in Medellin, but just couldn't find that elusive breakthrough against a tough Korean side in what was the competition's first game.
In particular, Eastick felt the first half held the key, when his side constantly put their opponents under pressure only for the Koreans to hang on to their clean sheet.
"I think we lost two points today," admitted Eastick after the game.
"The first-half performance was very good as a team, but I thought Korea came into the game in the second half.
"We managed to finish strongly again, but for a team which was only been put together two weeks ago, I thought the performance was very good.
"We had the best chance in the first half, there's no doubt about it and we had done enough to be ahead at half time but that's international football for you, you have to take your chances when they come.
"When you dominate the amount of possession that we did and create three or four good chances, any coach will tell you that you're thinking the other team might create one chance and score.
"We were wary of that in the second half because of their strength, so we missed the chance to get our noses in front in the first half and it just wasn't to be in the end.
"The players in the dressing room are very disappointed that we haven't won the game."
England did lose some of their momentum in the second half and couldn't replicate the sort of play and pressure that they enjoyed in the opening 45 minutes, but with the players still really in pre-season with their club sides, Eastick knew that would be the case.
"You have to consider that these players are still in their pre-season period, some of them had only trained for four or five days with their clubs when we met up and that was their first 90 minute game," he explained.
"I think that's one of the reasons why we tired in the second half and I don't know how much preparation Korea had for the World Cup, but I'd imagine it was considerably more than what we had and I thought that was reflected in the game.
"Korea are a very good team physically and they looked as tired as we did at the end, so that's credit to the players given the possession that we had.
"Not losing your first game is very important in international football as well and I would imagine that Korea will be quite happy with a point."
England are in action next on Monday evening, when they face Argentina.