Head Coach John Peacock speaks about his side's gradual improvement over three games.
England 2-0 Italy
The FA International U17 Tournament
3pm, Sunday 31 August 2008
Sixfields Stadium, Northampton Town FC
Click here for tournament details.
England U17 boss John Peacock said all the pieces came together as his side produced a professional performance to dispatch Italy by 2-0 at the Sixfields Stadium on Sunday.
His side improved throughout the tournament after starting with a 2-1 defeat to Portugal at Nene Park.
But they bounced back with a tight 1-0 win against Israel and the Young Lions coach said it all came together as they deservedly beat Italy thanks to a Ryan Tunnicliffe brace.
It means they finish a very creditable second in the gruelling tournament that took in three games in five days.
And Peacock was pleased with their progression: “I think we pieced it all together quite nicely today,” he said.
“We kept a clean sheet again, which is important for us, and we passed the ball a lot better today than we did on Friday.
“I think we were in control. I was sat in the stands and I didn’t have too many worries if I am honest.
“We deserved the win today and I was pleased with the performance in general.”
Peacock also revealed that the tournament has been an invaluable learning process for him and the players.
“I have gained a lot from the tournament," he admits.
“This is my first time looking at the players. We’ve had changes from the original squad, players have come in and done themselves credit, everyone has had a start and they have given me a chance to look at them very carefully.
“I have learnt a lot from it really and now it’s a question of evaluating this week and some other players who couldn’t make this tournament to make a decision about the European Qualifiers in October.”
And despite being drawn in a tough group that includes much-fancied Spain, as well as Armenia and Estonia, he is confident his young players have the talent and know-how to get through.
“The Spanish will always be difficult,” he said.
“They are probably the top nation in Europe at youth level, I think that will be a tough game but one we are looking forward to because it’s always nice to play against tough opposition.
“But we definitely won’t be taking Armenia or Estonia lightly, we’ve had them watched and will be watching them closely to make sure we do go through.”