Striker believes confident England thrive on defending U17 title.
By Nicholas Veevers in Novi Sad.
took his tally in the European Championship Finals to three goals on Monday, as his brace against Serbia
helped England into the semi-finals and the World Cup.
The Everton striker had scored England’s first goal of the tournament against France last week
and despite the disappointment of Friday’s reverse against Denmark
, he was on the mark again at FK Indjija's Gradski Stadium.
Those strikes take his tally for the U17s this season to ten goals in 12 games and he’s now eyeing up more against the Dutch on Thursday.
“It gives you confidence to keep scoring goals and hopefully, I can do that and help us to win the tournament,” said Hope, after Monday’s convincing victory over the competition hosts helped England into the semi-final here and qualification for next month's U17 World Cup in Mexico.
“The spirit was a bit down (after Denmark) but we knew we had to perform in this game and it took a big lift from all of the lads together.
“We’ve done well to come away with the three points really.”
With games in the competition being shown on Eurosport, the players have been able to keep in touch with the other matches when they’ve had chance, so the squad are already acutely aware of Holland and what they have to offer.
However, with confidence now back in the squad and having faced the other semi-finalists in Denmark previously, Hope believes England have nothing to fear.
“I’ve only seen a little bit of the Dutch, but they look like a good team,” he added.
“I think we have got good enough players to give them a good game though, so we’ll see.
“I thought Denmark were very good, as they were well organised and a hard working team but I think we’ve got an edge on them if we were to play them again.”
Of course, progression here means England are still in with a chance of defending the title which last year’s U17s lifted in Liechtenstein.
The current squad are more than aware of their predecessors’ achievements but Hope insists that they are using that to their advantage.
“There’s no real pressure,” he admitted. “But it boosts your own desire and it makes you want to win even more.
“Our captain Nathaniel (Chalobah) won the competition last year and he’s helped us this season.
“He’s a good player and he talks to us a lot and it helps us through the tournament.”