Eastick praises excellent performance
Tuesday, 02 August, 2011
England Coach happy with performance in draw against Argentina.
Nicholas Veevers in Medellin
Watch FATV reaction from Brian Eastick following England's draw with Argentina
England U20s Coach Brian Eastick was happy with his team's 'excellent' display that saw them draw 0-0 with Argentina in Medellin.
The Three Lions began the game having drawn their opener with Korea DPR 0-0, while the Argentians, hotly tipped as one of the favourites to win this World Cup, had beaten Mexico 1-0.
But Eastick says his side never looked out of their depth in front of a full-house at the Estadio Atanasio Girardot and showed character to come away with a point.
It now leaves them in a good position to qualify from the group when they take on the Mexicans on Thursday.
“In the two weeks we’ve had together, we’ve tried to play through the pitch and keep the ball and I thought we played well," Eastick told FATV after the game (click here to watch the video).
“You can only play as well as the opposition let you and this is a very good, technical Argentina team.
“It was a problem for us, but I thought we retained possession well after that and we grew into the game."
He added: “It would also be the first time that these players will have played in front of a 40,000 crowd so it was a test of character for them tonight and I thought they came through it.
“When you consider that this team was put together two weeks ago and one of our centre-forwards has gone home early, when you consider that our left-sided central defender had to come off, when you consider we were playing a very good Argentina team, at altitude and in South America, I would regard it as an excellent performance."
England suffered a blow just after the half-hour when Aston Villa defender Nathan Baker was taken off after taking a bang to the head. “Nathan had a clash of heads, he was dizzy and didn’t know where he was so he had to come off with a head injury," Eastick revealed.
The Three Lions now head to Cartagena for their final Group F game on Thursday night full of confidence knowing that a victory over Mexico, who beat Korea 3-0 in their second match, will mean progress to the Second Round. Even a draw for Eastick's men could also put them into the knockout stage.
“I’ve done my homework, and only once in this competition has a team finished with four points and not gone through. We hope to get five points, but we know it will be a tough game in the heat of Cartagena."
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