Peacock magnanimous in defeat
Friday, 25 February, 2011
Head Coach salutes Germany after they inflict U17s’ first loss in 27 games.
by Glenn Lavery
The England U17 team may have lost their first game of the season, but Head Coach John Peacock was quick to acknowledge the strength of his German conquerors.
A goal apiece for Erich Berko, Kaan Ayhan and Samed Yesil cancelled out Zak Ansah’s 56th-minute strike and helped Steffen Freund’s young charges to a 3-1 victory in the second match of The Algarve Tournament.
“Germany deserved to win the game, no doubt about that,” Peacock said, in summary. “They are a very, very good side and I’ll be surprised if they are not top four in Europe by the end of the season. I thought they were very good at winning the ball back in the middle third and countering us quickly, which they did quite effectively at times.
“We certainly won’t come up against many sides better than them this campaign.
“Having said that, I thought we played a lot better than we did against Romania [on Thursday]. We passed the ball a lot better and we created quite a lot of chances ourselves, so I was pleased about that. In many respects, the game could have finished 7-5. It was a game where there were lots of chances at both ends. Today we saw two teams who were committed to playing attacking football, two teams who were very positive in their approach to the game.”
The scoreline, and possibly result, would have been different had Ansah converted a 68th-minute penalty, but Peacock only had one criticism after the game.
“I was generally very pleased with how we played, how we attacked and passed the ball, but if there’s one thing we’ll have to improve it’s our general defending – we have to learn to defend a bit better in 1v1 situations. It is an area we need to focus on going into the European qualifiers in March.”
Before he can contemplate those three Elite Round qualifiers, against Northern Ireland, Spain and Belgium, Peacock must regroup his players for the final match of this Algarve Tournament, against Portugal on Sunday.
“We can take many positives from today,” he said. “What we are doing well we will keep on doing, but we need to do a bit better defensively. We haven’t got a lot of time to work on things before Sunday, but we’ll talk to the players individually, do some recovery work tomorrow morning and have a look at the DVD of today’s game.
“Hopefully we can get a better result on Sunday to end the tournament on a positive note, ahead of next month’s qualifiers, but the biggest thing for me, as I said at the start of the tournament, is to get to know a bit more about every player, ahead of next month’s qualifiers, and I am doing that.”
13 Tyrel Belford, 2 Jordan Cousins (C), 3 Matty Regan, 5 Sam Magri (6 Adam Jackson, 70), 8 Max Clayton (15 Jack Dunn, 70), 9 Zak Ansah (18 Cauley Woodrow, 70), 11 Alex Henshall, 12 Courtney Meppen Walters (20 James Ward-Prowse, 41), 16 John Lundstram (14 George Evans, 64), 10 Blair Turgott, 17 Adil Nabi (7 Nathan Redmond, 64)
Substitutes not used 1 Ben Garrett, 4 Robbie Cotton, 19 Tyler Blackett