'We want to keep on winning'
Wednesday, 02 June, 2010
Jordan Nobbs inspired by U17s glory ahead of semi-final.
Jordan Nobbs says that England have yet to reach their potential at this year’s UEFA European Women’s U19 Championship in Macedonia, but is confident they can rise to the occasion in Wednesday’s semi-final with Holland as they look to retain their crown.
The midfielder Nobbs was one of England’s star performers in Belarus a year ago when Mo Marley’s side became European Champions, and the Sunderland star was also on target in the Final that helped clinch a 2-0 win over Sweden.
However, on Wednesday the Three Lions go into their last four contest having lost for the first time in 21 matches to Germany at the weekend. But the 17-year-old says that confidence is still high in the camp after securing an early passage to the semis with wins over Scotland and Italy.
“We’re pleased to be where we are but I don’t think we’ve played to our best yet, and I think I’ve still got more to offer personally, too,” she told TheFA.com as she geared up for the meeting with Holland in Skopje.
“Hopefully we can step it up for the semi-final. We’ve got the same standards as a year ago. Every player who was playing in Belarus wants to win the competition again, and all the new players also want to get their hands on a winners’ medal and experience what we’ve experienced.
“Since winning the competition last year, teams have started recognising England. It feels like they want to come out at as a bit more to try and beat us, so we have to perform every game.
“We’ve also got a great spirit and have shown it in a couple of games. Against Italy going into the second half a goal down we really felt that belief and unity. We knew what we were capable of doing as a team and we feel we can get the right result against Holland.”
Nobbs, who's scored nine times in 23 appearances for England, added: “It was disappointing losing to Germany and unfortunately there was also the injury to Laura Coombs, which means she’s out now, but there are a lot of things we can take out of the game.
“All the new players have been impressive and have really come in to compete for a place in the side. We had a couple of debutantes against Germany and there was also another goal for Lauren Bruton, and that can only benefit us in the long run.”
England will go up against a Dutch team they last faced at this level in March 2009, winning 1-0 in La Manga, but Nobbs reveals that Holland are a familiar foe.
And with a place in a second consecutive Final at stake, she and her team mates are up for the challenge and will be fully prepared for the job in hand.
“We’re all positive around the camp and confidence is still high, so it’s down to us to take that into the game against Holland,” she continued.
“I’ve played them three times now, so I know a bit about them as a team and also know a few of their players too. But as a team we know what we’ll be doing, the coaches have been preparing us for the game and have given us a plan so we’ll all go out there knowing what to do. If we play to that game plan and to our high standards then I'm confident we’ll get the result.”
And after victory last year, as well as the England U17s success at the European Championship in Liechtenstein at the weekend, Nobbs is hoping that it can help inspire the U19s to a place in the Final on Saturday, and another shot at the title.
“Reaching the Final will mean everything to me, all the players and the staff here,” she said. “To win it once is amazing, but to do it twice would be awesome and that's what we’re aiming to do. We just want to keep winning games and keep winning trophies.
“We weren’t able to see the men’s U17s Final, but we heard the news straight away and it’s really inspirational to see them winning the Euros. It certainly spurs you on and now we want to go on and do the same. “
Mo Marley has been forced to make a change to her England squad due to the injury sustained by Laura Coombs in the warm-up before the Germany match. The Nottingham Forest midfielder has been replaced by Chelsea's Jodie Jacobs, who will join up with the squad on Wednesday.
The semi-final against Holland will be live on Eurosport at 4pm (BST) on Wednesday.