'It's been coming' says Caulker
Thursday, 01 March, 2012
Defender's joy at first England goal in comfortable win.
Jamie Bradbury in Middlesbrough
Click here to watch highlights of England's 4-0 win
Steven Caulker was happy to get his first goal for England as the Under-21s ran out comfortable 4-0 winners against Belgium in Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.
A brace from Henri Lansbury and a last-minute penalty from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, added to the close-range header from the on-loan Swansea City defender, ensured Brian Eastick's game in temporary charge edged England one step nearer a play-off place for next year’s Euro 2013 Finals in Israel.
“It was a bit scrappy today, but we got the clean sheet and four goals so we can’t be too fussy,” said Caulker. “I’m delighted with the win and it leaves us top of the group. We were confident coming into the game and felt we could win, but it was a big game so to win like that we can’t ask for more.
“It was my first goal for England so I’m really delighted. It’s been coming over the last couple of weeks in the Premier League, hitting the post a few times, so it was more than due.
“You’ve got to be in the right place at the right time sometimes and today was my day.”
The victory leaves the Three Lions seven points clear at the top of Group 8 with two games to play, and was just the tonic for defeat away to the same opposition in their last outing in November.
“I missed that fixture through injury, but we don’t like to lose to anyone. We wanted to get revenge and to do it in such style was a great achievement," continued Caulker.
“Brian has come in and set things out as normal, we’ve had a good couple of days training, and finished with a good result so we’re pleased with how things have gone.”
England now must wait until September for their final two Group 8 fixtures, first away in Azerbaijan and then at home to Norway, who themselves need three wins from three games to overhaul England's lead at the top.
All ten group winners in qualifying, along with the four best runners-up, go into the two-legged play-offs to determine which seven nations join hosts Israel in the Finals in June 2013.