Gardner: "Let's kick on"
Wednesday, 09 November, 2011
Aston Villa midfielder wants two more wins for Under-21s.
Watch video highlights of Tuesday's training session.
Get the latest from the England Under-21s camp from the team's official Facebook page
Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner says England Under-21s are looking to continue their promising form at the start of this season and maintain their 100 per cent record in Euro 2013 qualifying.
The Three Lions are in Colchester ahead of Thursday’s game against Iceland at the Weston Homes Community Stadium and after beating them 3-0 in Reykjavik a month ago, Gardner is eyeing another three points. The team then travel to Belgium for Monday night’s Group 8 encounter in Mons, their final game of 2011.
Gardner, who has two caps for Stuart Pearce’s side following his August debut against Israel, says the team have been training well and the spirit in the camp is good.
“We met up on Monday and the sessions we’ve had so far have been sharp and everyone is looking lively,” he told FATV. “It’s good to be back again and we just want to kick on.
“We’re building a good bond in this group of players, and we had two great results on the last trip and hopefully we can get two more on this trip.”
He continued: “It was a tough game over in Iceland, but the lads done well so hopefully we can play them here on Thursday and get a similar result.”
Pearce has been forced to make a number of changes to his squad due to injury, and six of the players are with the Under-21s for the first time. But Gardner, who himself was fresh into the squad this season, says the camaraderie withthen the group is excellent and the older players always make the young ones feel welcome.
“When you’re new to a group you like to feel welcome and all the lads have done that to me and they’ve done it to all the new players who have come in this week. They drive us on. The lads are all great and there’s a lot of talent here.
“Everyone has good banter and in football you need that. They are all top lads though.”
Gardner is one of three Aston Villa players in the squad, along with Nathans Baker and Delfouneso. Unfortunately for Delfouneso, who scored in Preston against Iceland in March, came off in Reykjavik last month with a hamstring injury, but his Villa team-mate his glad to see him back in an England shirt.
“Nathan is a really good player but picked up an injury over in Iceland and will want to show what he can do in this game. It’s good to have him back in the squad.”
Tickets for the game at Colchester are sold out, but fans can see that fixture, and the game in Mons on Monday night, live on ESPN.
We'll bring you all the latest updates for the England Under-21s squad here or via www.twitter.com/thefadotcom