Goal joy for Caulker
Thursday, 06 September, 2012
Tottenham defender wants to catch England's top-scorer after goal in Azerbaijan.
by Jamie Bradbury
Steven Caulker is looking for more goals after scoring in his second consecutive game for England Under-21s.
The Tottenham man says he now wants to overtake the tally of his defensive partner Craig Dawson after putting Stuart Pearce's side in front in their 2-0 win in Azerbaijan on Thursday night.
His first half header gave the Three Lions a 28th-minute lead, which Liverpool's Jonjo Shelvey doubled just before the end. And it means that a draw in their last group game on Monday night, against Norway in Chesterfield, will be enough to seal a place in the Euro 2013 play-offs.
Having notched his first goal in the 4-0 victory over Belgium in March, the one in Baku puts him closer to Dawson's four, after the West Brom defender hit a scoring streak at the start of the qualifying campaign.
"It was a great result," said Caulker, who was also part of Pearce's Team GB squad and enjoyed his first Senior call-up from Roy Hodgson last month. "We came here to get the three points and we managed to do that. We feel that we could be better performance-wise, but it was the result that mattered and we're over the moon.
"Daws (Craig Dawson) is in front at the moment with three or four to his name, but I'm slowly catching him up and I was delighted to get on the scoresheet."
With just a one-goal lead at the break, and playing on an artificial surface at the Dalga Stadium, Caulker admited that Pearce was keen for the young Lions to extend their advantage to ensure victory.
"He said there were chances there, we were creating a few things, it was just a case of getting the ball down, keep playing and hopefully our time will come.
"It was late on that we got the goal but we were thankful that Jonjo managed to hit the back of the net."
Now, Norway, who trail England by two points at the top of the table following their win in Belgium, head to Chesterfield for a Group 8 decider on Monday. And although a point will be enough for England, Caulker is determined to see the qualifiers out in style.
"We go into every game hoping to win," he said. "It'll be a tough test but on a surface we're used to and in front of home supporters. It's a game we're looking forward to."
The last remaining tickets are on sale for the match at the Proact Stadium. Call 01246 488232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or book online at www.chesterfield-fc.co.uk