Fab start for Muamba
Tuesday, 16 June, 2009
Fabrice Muamba reflects on three points against Finland and looks ahead to Spain
To watch the full video interview with Fabrice,
After a solid performance in the heart of midfield, Bolton Wanderers' Fabrice Muamba hopes that England can build on the 2-1 win over Finland when they meet Spain in Gothenburg on Thursday.
The Three Lions were given a stern test by the Finns in the long-awaited first game of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Halmstad, but came through thanks to goals from Lee Cattermole and Micah Richards in either half.
However, the sending off of defender Michael Mancienne, which led to Finland's penalty equaliser, left England to look for the win playing over an hour with ten men and was a hard way to begin their campaign.
But reflecting on the match the day after, Muamba felt the hard work of his team mates is something they can build on throughout the tournament.
"I'm quite tired, but I think it's acceptable to be tired because we played with ten men for almost 65 minutes of the game," Fabrice told TheFA.com.
"We're pleased with the result, the performance was decent, but we know we can still get better and hopefully we can learn from it and move on.
"I think I could have done better in certain areas and kept the ball better, but if the whole team can improve on that section of the game, we know we can defend even better too as we were caught out by the long ball. We are guaranteed to score goals with the players we have."
"It was important the we got off the mark early because they were pressurising us all the way through the game. But in the second half they got really tired and I think our fitness showed. We kept the ball better, too, after we scored the second goal.
"But the important thing is that we learn from it and move on quickly and look forward to the Thursday game."
And a win against the Spanish would secure England's passage to the Semi-Final after their draw with Germany on Monday night.
And for Muamba, who now has 16 caps for the Under-21s, and the rest of the team, they are taking the tournament one step at a time.
"We'll have a debrief about the game today and talk about where we went wrong and then tomorrow we'll look at the Spanish," added Muamba.
"If we win our next four games we are Champions of Europe but we'll take each game as they come, one by one. Hopefully we'll win Thursday and see how far we can go."
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