Ben Pearson says September's rout in Tallinn helped England overcome Andorra
England 7-0 Andorra
UEFA European U19 Championship Qualifier
2pm, Saturday 12 October 2013
Mestni Stadion, Ptuj, Slovenia
By Jamie Reid in Ptuj
Ben Pearson says the experience gained from the Young Lions’ recent game against Estonia
proved a useful warm-up for Saturday’s encounter with Andorra.
The England U19s midfielder scored a quick-fire brace in the 7-0 victory over the Group 9 minnows
, and has impressed in both Euro 2014 qualifying outings so far.
But Pearson, who plays his club football for Manchester United, said that games against the likes of Andorra are not always as easy as they may appear, and that getting the first goal can take time.
He said: “We knew it was going to be tough to break through and we knew they were going to put ten men behind the ball from the off.
"But we were patient and we just kept going and the goals came in the end and we got a deserved victory.
“We had a game about two months ago against Estonia that was exactly the same really, so we’ve had an experience like that before which was good.”
Despite riding their luck at times, Andorra kept England out for almost a quarter of the game – until Mason Bennett’s opener on 18 minutes.
After that the goals flowed and Pearson insisted it was simply a matter of staying focused and biding their time – although with the seventh goal coming on 78 minutes, he felt there was still time for more.
“We always knew we were going to get there eventually – to be honest though, in the last ten minutes we needed more goals, we weren’t really happy with seven - we wanted eight, nine, ten.
“But obviously what happened happened and 7-0 is still a good result.”
Pearson’s two goals came in the final five minutes of the first half, and after his first, Head Coach Noel Blake could be heard urging his side to get one more before the break.
“Yeah I heard him,” said Pearson with a wry smile. “Once he shouted to get forward and get one more before the break I pushed up and I was able to get another before half-time. We just wanted to get as many as we could really.”
The Oldham-born starlet also joked that after goals with his right and left feet, he could have had the perfect hat-trick.
“I’m really pleased with the two goals - just needed a header and that would have finished it off nicely,” he added.
Attention now turns to the final group game against Switzerland on Tuesday – with England knowing that if they avoid defeat they will progress to the Elite Round in the spring of 2014 - but Pearson warned the Young Lions could take nothing for granted.
Pearson predicted: “It’s going to be tough, obviously. I know a few of the players already – they’re good players. One of them plays at my club.
“We just have to stick to the game plan really, we’ve got a good team.
“If we all work hard and play as we can do we should be fine. Obviously games like today help to give us confidence.”