Peacock wants improvement
Friday, 03 February, 2012
Head Coach speaks about win over Portugal.
By Nicholas Veevers
England U17s Head Coach John Peacock guided his team to victory in their opening game of the Algarve Tournament on Thursday afternoon, but knows his side will need to improve their performances over the remainder of the competition.
Peacock saw captain Leo Chambers head home a late winner against Portugal, after earlier watching Newcastle United striker Adam Campbell slot England into an early lead.
But it was the spell inbetween those goals which Peacock was more concerned about and will aim to improve upon when the Young Lions face Netherlands on Saturday.
“The best thing you can say is that we started the game well and finished it well too, so we were delighted with the result but as a staff and squad we were a little bit disappointed with the performance,” said Peacock.
“We didn’t pass it as well as we know we can and there were a few unforced errors, which meant we had to withstand some pressure at times.
“So there’s definitely room for improvement, but we showed the spirit and resilience that’s required and if we can match that with a better performance in the next game we know we’ll be back on the right track.”
Whilst winning is always nice as an end product, Peacock is always keen to ensure that the competition is all about development for the players and he often uses the annual Algarve Tournament as an opportunity to assess those at his disposal for the qualifying fixtures in March.
“As I always say, the objective for this trip isn’t so much about the results,” he added. “We’ve left players behind from the qualifiers earlier in the season and there’s been a few injuries, so that gives us a chance to have a look at a few other players who have been doing well at their clubs.
“It’s very much about firming up the squad for the Elite Round in March and there are a few new caps in the group.
“So I was delighted for Adam Campbell to get a goal. He’s previously played once for the U16s and this was his first game for the U17s and there were a few others off the bench too.
“All of the players out here will get a start and that will be the case after the game with Holland on Saturday and then we can look on towards the final game with France on Monday.
“It’s a great tournament for us though, where we play three very good teams and acts as a perfect warm-up for the Qualifiers in March.”
England’s second match in Portugal is against Holland, kicking-off at 3pm on Saturday.