Lithuania result leaves Micah frustrated
Thursday, 19 November, 2009
The England U21s skipper was disappointed with the draw in Vilnius
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To watch the full interview with Micah, click on the player on the right of the page
England captain Micah Richards looked back at a frustrating night in Vilnius on Tuesday as the Under-21s were held by a resilient Lithuania in their last match of 2009.
Try as they might, Stuart Pearce’s side just couldn’t find the breakthrough, despite a number of chances, and it’s something Richards says must be worked on before the Euro 2011 Qualifiers recommence in March.
The night wasn’t all bad for the Three Lions, as Portugal beat Group Nine leaders Greece, meaning England are now two points off the top with one game in hand, but the Manchester City defender was left disappointed after their second draw in five matches.
“It was very frustrating,” Richards told TheFA.com before he left the Vetra Stadium and headed back to England. “I think the boys put a decent performance in, but we’re disappointed not to get a goal, especially in these conditions. We dominated the game throughout.
“To be fair they come to us, I thought they were just going to sit back and put eleven men behind the ball. But they tried to go for it as well at times, so credit to them.
He continued: “If you look at Danny Rose, he had the beating of his man and got kicked every two minutes, but that’s football at the end of the day. We should have had it wrapped up in the first half, so we’re gutted we should have had the three points.”
With their next game nearly four months away, at home to Greece, it will give the team a chance to reflect on the campaign so far. And Richards says they’ll take some positives away from Lithuania, while targeting areas to focus on.
“Chris Smalling came in and I thought he did an outstanding job again and I thought Andy Carroll played well up there,” he said.
“Daniel Sturridge was a bit isolated because they knew what he could do on the ball and they got tight to him. It was one of those nights for us.”
He added: “We kept another clean sheet, not just the back four but as a whole team. After the Portugal game, keeping a clean sheet in that gives us a lot of confidence.
“I think we’ve just got to find the net a bit more now, one goal in two games is not really ideal. If we can work in training and get a few more goals, because we’re creating the chances, hopefully we can get a better result in March.”
Details of the venue for the match against Greece on 3 March 2010 will be announced here soon.