Peacock: 'Everything to play for'
Friday, 06 May, 2011
Head Coach targets win over Serbia on Monday after Denmark disappointment.
By Nicholas Veevers in Novi Sad
England U17s Head Coach John Peacock couldn’t hide his disappointment on Friday, after seeing his side lose their unbeaten record this season at the hands of Denmark.
Two quick-fire goals in the first half caught England out in Novi Sad and despite a much improved second-half display, the Young Lions couldn’t quite break down the Danes to find their way back into the game.
The result means that Denmark have now qualified for both the European Championship semi-final and the U17 World Cup, leaving England, France and hosts Serbia to battle it out for second place in Group A and the two remaining World Cup spots.
“I’m obviously very disappointed,” admitted Peacock.
“I have to give every credit to Denmark, so congratulations to them. They showed in their first game with Serbia how well they could play.
“We knew it would be a very difficult game today and I don’t think it helped when we conceded two goals in 15 minutes.
“That gave us a lot to do in order to recover and they defended very well in the second period when we just couldn’t get the goal that we hoped to make it a bit closer.
“You can’t give any international team, especially of the quality of Denmark, a two goal lead by half time.”
England now know that they have to beat Serbia in their final group game on Monday and rely on the result from the France-Denmark game that takes place simultaneously to have any chance of heading into the semi-final.
If Denmark beat or draw with France, an England win will be enough to take them through to the semi-final, so it’s now Peacock’s job to get his players ready for that game.
“We’re still trying to get over the defeat today right now, but obviously there are still many things to play for on Monday,” he added.
“We haven’t tasted defeat this season before, so we have to regroup now and obviously all of our focus will be on trying to beat Serbia first and foremost and then trying to qualify for the semi-finals or World Cup.
“I just said to the players that they had to keep playing and believing in the second half and I can’t fault them (in the second half) as they gave me everything that they’ve got.
“As I said though, we need to regroup and get them playing well against a very good Serbia team on Monday.”