Cranie can't wait for chance
Monday, 15 June, 2009
Martin Cranie is relishing England's opener against Finland.
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After two years of waiting, Portsmouth defender Martin Cranie says he and his England Under-21 team-mates are raring to go ahead of their first European Championship match against Finland.
With 12 caps under his belt, Cranie played a significant part in Stuart Pearce’s squad as they navigated qualification and claimed their place at Euro 2009 in Sweden, and with England’s first game taking place tonight, anticipation is high.
“For the last two years, this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Training and playing games for this moment, and now it has finally come I think everyone is up for it,” Cranie told TheFA.com.
The squad spent a week’s training camp in Spain prior to the their last Friendly against Azerbaijan last week, and after a comprehensive 7-0 victory over the Azeris Cranie feels preparation for the tournament has gone extremely well.
“I think there were quite a lot of positives [against Azerbaijan]. We approached the game in the right manner and you can tell by the scoreline that we went out and did our jobs.
“I think the lads are looking really sharp [now]. It doesn’t matter what weather we’re in, the training’s been top notch all the way and I think that can only help going into the game [against Finland].”
Although Finland may be considered the weaker of the teams in England’s group, none of the players are taking anything for granted. And with the final team yet to be selected by Pearce, the players know they must maintain a professional approach at all times.
“Every game is going to be tough out here, so we’ve got to go in there with the right frame of mind and take each game as it comes.
“We had a look at [Finland] this morning. They’re going to be a good team and they work hard for each other. But we’re concentrating on ourselves at the moment, we know our strengths and we’ll play to them,” said Cranie.
“Obviously the gaffer hasn’t picked the team yet and everyone wants to play but if not, I’m going to support the lads as much as possible.
“At the end of the day, if we come out with a trophy I’ll be delighted.”
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