Head Coach John Peacock feels that whoever you're drawn with, the Elite Round will always be tough.
After seeing the draw for the Elite Round, John Peacock feels that his England U17 team face a tough battle to qualify for the Finals of the European U17 Championship, but admits any group would be far from easy.
The Young Lions will face hosts Hungary, Portugal and Serbia in their group with only the team who top the group progressing to next summer’s Finals in Germany.
“It’s a tough draw for us,” Peacock told TheFA.com.
“It’s very similar to last year when we played France, Israel and Russia.
“To be honest though, you have to expect that when you get to the Elite Round so we’ll prepare for it and look forward to the games.”
The clash with Portugal is one that immediately stands out, with the teams having already met this season in August.
Portugal were 2-1 winners on that occasion, but the Young Lions were certainly unfortunate not to have got a draw or even a win after creating chances and enjoying plenty of possession.
The teams are also due to meet again in February when England travel to Portugal for the Algarve Tournament, an exercise which Peacock hopes isn’t jeopardised by Thursday’s draw.
“We know bits about Portugal already,” he revealed.
“We played them in England earlier this year and the thing we need to look at now is that we’re going to the Algarve in February where we’re due to play Portugal again.
“To be truthful, from our end we hope it all goes ahead because there are no secrets now in youth football anyway. So it doesn’t matter that we have to play them a month later and it will be good preparation for us ahead of the Elite Round tournament."
Peacock did hope that those games, which need to be played by the end of March, could be hosted in England but unlike the U19 team, they didn’t get pulled out of the hat.
“We unfortunately didn’t get the luck of the draw to host it, so Hungary will be holding the games. So we’ll go there, work hard and hopefully get the right result.”