Focused Fab eyeing title
by Jamie Bradbury
Thursday, 24 March, 2011
Fabrice Muamba is determined to become a European Champion with England.
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Fabrice Muamba is determined to end his time with England's Under-21s as a European Champion. This summer, the Bolton Wanderers midfielder hopes to be part of Stuart Pearce's side who travels to Denmark with design on lift the Euro 2011 trophy.
The 22-year-old former Arsenal and Birmingham man made his debut for the Under-21s back in 2007 and helped guide the side all the way to the Final of the 2009 European Championship. However, defeat to Germany in Sweden was a bitter-blow for Muamba and his team mates and a memory he hopes to erase this summer.
The Three Lions are currently in Denmark where they meet the tournament hosts in a friendly on Thursday afternoon (watch live at www.TheFA.com/FATVLIVE from 5pm) - part of their preparations for their opening game with Spain on 12 June.
"This is a great opportunity for the gaffer to see everyone," Muamba told FATV. "He has a massive squad and it’s good to get together and play these games.
"It’s the first time I’ve played Denmark, but we’ll know exactly what they are capable of doing. Obviously they are hosting the tournament in the summer. We’ve got to make sure we do everything right, play the game in the right spirit and get a result."
The match on Thursday will be at Viborg, where England will face Czech Republic in their third and final group game on 19 June.
"It’s always important when you are preparing yourself that you see where you’re going to be playing. We can get used to the pitch and in three months time when we come back here we’ll be physically and mentally ready for it."
But after this friendly - and Monday's game against another Euro Finalist Iceland at Preston North End - Muamba's England focus will be firmly set on winning this summer.
He also hopes the lessons learned in Sweden two years ago will help spur them on.
"It was a great tournament, we had a great team spirit and we played with togetherness. But we didn’t win it. This is my last tournament and I want to make the most of it and give it my best shot. I want to win this tournament.
"On paper we were the best team in the tournament, but the best team doesn’t always win. We have to make sure that when we return to Denmark we have that mentality that we are here to win.
"We have these two games against Denmark and Iceland, and then after that an unbelievable opportunity this summer."
England Under-21s defensive partners Chris Smalling and Micah Richards told FATV that Thursday's encounter in Denmark will be perfect preparation for when the team return there in June for the UEFA European Under-21s Championship. (click here to watch the full interview)
We're streaming Denmark Under-21s v England Under-21s here LIVE and FREE on TheFA.com at 5pm.
You can also get involved with the match by talking to our commentary team throughout the game via; www.twitter.com/thefadotcom - use the hashtag #EnglandU21s, www.facebook.com/EnglandU21s , www.facebook.com/EnglandTeam
Next up for England on Monday is a game against Iceland at Preston. Tickets for the match at Deepdale are still available priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children and are available from the ticket office, over the phone on 0844 856 1966 and online at www.mypne.com .