VIDEO: 'We found their weakness'
Friday, 07 October, 2011
Hat-trick hero Chamberlain shares plaudits with U21s team-mates.
by Jamie Bradbury in Reykjavik
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After claiming the match ball for his first three goals for England’s Under-21s in their 3-0 victory in Iceland on Thursday night, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was quick to share the plaudits with his Three Lions team-mates.
The Arsenal man notched twice inside two first-half minutes before adding a third just after half-time to help Stuart Pearce’s team to the top of Euro 2013 Qualifying Group 8 after two games. He was naturally pleased to score a hat-trick for his country, but says the whole side worked hard for the victory in Reykjavik.
“To get a hat-trick and my first international goals tonight, I’m happy with that,” he told FATV outside the England dressing room, “but the most important thing was for the lads to win and to get more points to help us qualify.
“We knew if we respected the opposition, matched them and worked harder than them then eventually the ability and the quality the team has would shine through and we would win the game.
“We did realise that they were quite a dangerous team, especially on the counter and when they went forward they got a lot of bodies forward. But that was also their weakness so we could counter them. For my first goal I think we showed that."
England were two goals up inside the first 15 minutes, which settled any nerves before what could well have turned out to be a tricky away fixture. Chamberlain’s first was following a powerful run from the half-way line after good work from Marvin Sordell, and his second a tap-in after the keeper Arnar Peturson dropped Nathan Delfouneso’s cross.
“It’s important in any game of football to get off to a good start, it stands the team in good stead,” added Chamberlain. “We did drop off a bit after that and the manager said at half-time that we need to respond and come out on fire. I think we did that, got another goal and pushed on.
“We’ve all got the same idea, we want to qualify and we’re going to do that by winning each game, keeping clean sheets and putting the ball in the back of the net.
“We’ve only conceded one goal in the three games this season, so it’s not just the boys up front who are doing a good job, but the boys at the back and in midfield. It’s definitely a team performance and even the ones who didn’t play tonight and are in the squad, everyone is pulling together. The quality of the training has made a healthy competition for places.”
And now attentions turn to Monday night’s game against Norway in Drammen, which we see the two early group leaders, both with two wins from their first two games, go head to head.
“We know it’s going to be another hard game for us and we’re going to approach it in the same way. But we’re confident in the ability of the squad to get the win.”
For tickets for England's next home game against Iceland at Colchester United on 10 November, click here for ticket details.