Peacock reflects on 'fair result'
Tuesday, 03 May, 2011
Head Coach pleased with general display in opener with France.
Nicholas Veevers in Novi Sad
England U17s Head Coach John Peacock felt a draw was a fair reflection of his side’s opening game with France in the European U17 Championship Finals in Serbia.
The Young Lions twice had the lead thanks to first-half goals from Hallam Hope and Nick Powell against a physically strong French outfit and could have been even further ahead in the second half, only for Patrick Gonfalone’s team to finish the game strongly and secure a point with a late equaliser.
On a tricky pitch at FK Indija, where the recent rainfall was reflected on a boggy surface, it was always going to be a hard match against a side who have been tipped to challenge for this year’s title but England were more than a match for Les Bleus.
"It was a very, very tough game. We knew it would be and that playing France in the first game would be very close and it was,” said Peacock.
"There were chances for both teams and we went in 2-1 ahead at half time, but I thought it was a fair result in the end.
"I was very pleased with my team's performance though. We started very nervously and France began very well but we settled down after 20 minutes or so and started to grow into the game.
"In general terms, I'm pleased with the performance.”
Group A’s other game saw Denmark victorious against hosts Serbia with a 3-2 victory and the Danes will be England’s next opponents in Novi Sad on Friday afternoon.
With a two day turnaround before that encounter, attentions have already switched to what will be another tricky 80 minutes for Peacock's side.
"We haven't got a lot of time to think about the second game, but it will always go down to game three to decide who goes through to the semi-final,” added Peacock.
"The last week has all been concentrated on France and now we can start to refocus our attention on Denmark.
"We had our captain (the suspended Nat Chalobah) missing today, but having a good squad of 18 players is very important to us and that’s the message that we will be giving to the players.”