More to offer
Sunday, 23 May, 2010
Luke Garbutt knows England can perform better than they did against Greece.
UEFA European U17 Championship
By Glenn Lavery in Liechtenstein
He may have helped the U17s claim a hard-fought victory over Greece on Friday - a win which sealed their place in the European Championship semi-final - but, ahead of their clash with Turkey on Monday night, left-back Luke Garbutt believes England have far better performances left in the tank.
Against Greece, it was Garbutt’s 35th-minute cross that Everton club-mate Ross Barkley powerfully headed home to give John Peacock’s side three vital Group B points, which consequently sent them into the last four with a group game to spare.
“The lads are obviously really happy with the result, but we can always play better,” said Garbutt, who was also celebrating his 17th birthday on Friday. “We lacked that bit of quality in the final third. Overall, [we] dug in well and ground out a result, as such, and [against Turkey] we’ll look to push on play a bit more positively.”
Garbutt captained England the last time they played Turkey, in The FA International U17 Tournament last August, although he couldn’t inspire the team to victory as they were edged out 3-2 in an entertaining game at Sixfields Stadium. However, with qualification secured there is less pressure on Monday’s game and Garbutt says it might give Peacock the opportunity to hand a first tournament start to a few players.
“He [Peacock] said to expect a few changes so the lads on the bench keep focused in training and hopefully [they will] get a start. It’s a well rotated squad with a lot of quality.”
Although Spain have also won their opening two games, in Group A, England are the only nation definitely through to the semi-final and Garbutt says he will not allow complacency to creep into the camp.
“The mentality throughout the squad is quite good. Me and Conor [Coady, the captain], being the leaders of the group, will keep the lads settled and we’ll keep our feet firmly on the ground.
“[The Greece game] was quite a poor performance by our standards but we’ll look to kick on and I think we can perform a lot, lot better."