Mixed emotions for Joe
Wednesday, 22 July, 2009
Despite the joy of his first England goal, Joe Mattock wishes it was a winner.
Nicholas Veevers in Donetsk
It was a case of mixed emotions for England’s Joe Mattock on Tuesday evening, after scoring his first goal for the Lions only to see it cancelled out by a late equaliser from Switzerland.
Mattock’s first half free-kick had edged England ahead and it looked as though it would be enough to prove the winner until the Swiss found their way through in stoppage time at the end of the game.
Despite the disappointment at conceding such a late goal though, the 19-year-old was pleased to have finally hit the net for England after previously playing at U16, U17 and Under-21 level.
“It was my first goal for England, at long last as well as I’ve been playing for a few years through the set-up,” admitted Mattock.
“Now I’ve got my goal, I feel that I can go on and try and get some more.
“It’s just a shame it wasn’t the winner, but this happens and we’ve just got to push on now and get on with it and hope for a win in the next game.”
Looking back at the game on Tuesday, Mattock felt that whilst England were undoubtedly the better team with possession of the ball, there was always a danger that Switzerland could breakthrough via a set piece and that is exactly what happened.
“They were looking for set plays, they were just sitting back and not really playing,” he explained.
“They would then try to hit us on the counter attack and they would be looking for set pieces and that’s what happened in the end.
“We need to learn from that and next time we can deal with that better hopefully.”
With the other Group A game ending in a 0-0 draw between Ukraine and Slovenia, the result actually means that England are top of their table after the first game, so consolation can certainly be taken from that. It also means that whatever happens, it’s still in England’s hands with two games to go before the semi-final stages.
Mattock and his team-mates managed to catch the later stages of the other game and with their next match against the hosts on Friday, all were interested observers and pleased with the result too.
“It’s always good to see that the other game ended in a draw, so our next task is to get a win in that game and stay at the top of the group,” added Mattock.
“It puts you under a lot of pressure if you lose that first game, especially as England, because everyone is looking at you and everyone wants to beat you.
“They’ll have a lot of supporters cheering them on I’m sure and that will be hard, but hopefully we can adapt to that and come through.
“I saw a little bit from the end of their game on Tuesday and they do look as though they have got a couple of good players.
“But so have we. We have good players, who can work the ball well and cause a threat to them so it should be an interesting game.”