Blake outlines areas to improve
Thursday, 19 November, 2009
U19s Head Coach looks back on Tuesday's win over Turkey.
England U19s Head Coach Noel Blake was pleased to see his team keep their winning run for the season going but is under no illusions as to where they need to improve.
A second half comeback saw England overturn a one goal deficit at half time to run out 3-1 winners against a more than adept Turkey side at Glanford Park and Blake admits he wasn’t entirely surprised that they were ahead at the break.
“We started off fairly slowly and it was even in the first ten minutes or so,” said Blake. “Then, Turkey took the ascendancy and looked very threatening.
“It didn’t surprise me, because I knew they’d be technically decent, athletic and a hard team to break down and that’s how they proved to be.”
“They looked to be the better side but what I said to the players before the game was how important it is that when the opposition are having a good spell, it’s crucial that we stay in the game and that’s what we did.
“We know we’re not going to dominate long spells for the entirety of the game, just as they aren’t either.
“In the second half, we came out all guns blazing and went on from there.”
Whilst happy with the character shown by his team to come back and win the game, Blake couldn’t hide his frustration at falling behind in the match and having to be put in that situation.
“We had to come from behind in the first game against Russia at Shrewsbury, so the team does show character from that side of it,” he added.
“But I would like to see us starting games better if I’m honest, and that’s what’s concerning me at the moment.
“We also showed the ability to come back though and we scored three very good footballing goals too, with two midfield players scoring.
“We’re encouraging our midfield players to get in the box and it was pleasing that Dean Parrett and Gary Gardner got the goals to put us in front and then Nathan got a good goal to finish it at the end there.”