Head Coach Kenny Swain believes he has got a talented group of young players at his disposal.
Wales 0-1 England
Sky Sports Victory Shield
7.40pm, Friday 31 October 2008
Stebonheath Park, Llanelli
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After their narrow 1-0 victory over Wales on Friday night, England U16s have now yielded maximum points from their opening two fixtures in the Sky Sports Victory Shield and they will head into their final match against Scotland at the end of November with an eighth straight Victory Shield triumph firmly in their sights.
However, it will not concern Head Coach Kenny Swain too much should they fall at the final hurdle, for he believes the talent at his disposal suggests a bright future for English football.
"It's always nice to win," he admits, "especially alongside a good team performance, but the most important thing is that these players continue to improve.
"Whatever the result, it doesn't change the fact that there is a lot of talent in this set of players. It is an exciting year group and hopefully the performances and results will continue to improve alongside their talent."
Having run out comfortable 6-0 winners over Northern Ireland at the beginning of October, Swain looked on as his Young Lions struggled to find their rhythm against an organised Welsh side and this time their win required patience and determination.
The winner itself came with just five minutes remaining; Arsenal's Benik Afobe steering home from an acute angle, following a fine through ball from George Thorne.
It was enough to breach the Welsh resistance and Swain concedes the rather fortuitous nature of the victory.
"I have to give credit to Wales," he said, "because they were as good an U16 side as I've seen during my time with England. They might not have created an awful lot, but they broke up our attacks, made it difficult for us in midfield and were a very organised outfit.
"Having said that, we did create the clearer chances and we got better in the second half.
"I was pleased with the way we played even if we were a little fortunate to come away with all three points."
There were six new players in the squad for the match in Llanelli and there were also seven changes to the starting eleven that faced Northern Ireland as Swain wanted to blood some players from the start.
"It's interesting to see how players perform from the start as opposed to coming off the bench when we're 3-0 or 4-0 up," Swain explained.
"There's still some more we'd like to see in this age group, but we've learned a lot more about the players we've had a look at.
"All of the players know they can't get complacent, but if they are involved against Scotland, we want them to improve and we want them to want to come back, so, by the time we play in the Montagiu tournament at Easter, they will have had a taste of international football and hopefully they would have built up a stronger bond with each other."
"Performances are very important to us, as is the desire to continually improve, but I still think that you need to keep up morale with the results that go alongside that."
Swain will now begin preparations for the final Victory Shield match against Scotland at the end of November, as he looks to guide these players through their fledgling international careers and decide which players are able to represent England now, and which ones he should monitor for the future.
1 Jonathan Bond, 2 Aaron Phillips, 3 Iain Edmunds, 4 Max Penk, 5 Aaron Holloway, 6 Kurtis March (16 Joshua Roberts, 80) 7 Jonathan Williams, 8 Emyr Huws (C), 9 Dane Griffiths (14 Richard Caine, 76), 10 Leon Newall (15 Jonathan Evans, 41), 11 George ColsonSubstitutes not used
12 Daniel Ward, 13 Luke Mathias, 17 Ryan Connolly, 18 Joe RigbyEngland
1 Jamal Blackman, 2 Connor Morris (18 Bruno Pilatos, 41), 3 Jack Robinson, 4 Josh Rees (15 Nathan Chalobah, 74) 5 Louis Laing (C), 6 Andre Wisdom, 7 Jake Fowler (17 Zeli Ismail, 41), 8 Ross Barkley, 9 Benik Afobe, 10 Robert Hall (16 Connor Wickham, 64), 11 Aziz Deen-Conteh (12 George Thorne, 58)Substitutes not used
13 Sam Johnstone, 14 Alex Whittle