Eastick ready for Slovenia showdown
Nicholas Veevers in Donetsk
Monday, 27 July, 2009
U19 Head Coach knows a win will seal semi-final spot.
Brian Eastick has likened Monday’s game with Slovenia to a quarter final game, knowing his side need a win to make sure of progress to the semi-final of the European U19 Championship Finals.
England sit in second place in Group A going into the final match of the first stage, so a win at the Metalurh Stadium will be enough to see the Young Lions through, but a draw would mean having to rely on Switzerland beating Ukraine in the other game.
So the message from Head Coach Eastick to his players is simple; win the match.
“I’ve said all along that the group will go down to the last game,” he revealed.
“The group is very close and there isn’t a great deal between any of the teams. With the exception of Ukraine, who are a very good team, we have all had to come through two tough qualifying rounds just to get here so you know it’s not going to be easy in the Finals.
“We need to win the game on Monday and if we do that, we don’t need to worry about anything else so we are focused on getting that result.
“We don’t want to be relying on a particular outcome from the other game so it’s up to us now, it’s in our own hands and you can’t really ask for more than that at this stage.
“Slovenia will be a hard match, though, so we will have to be ready for it. They still know a win could take them through to the semi-finals so they will be ready for the game too.”
After missing out on a semi-final place in the same competition last year by virtue of goal difference, Eastick is even more determined to go at least one further this time around.
“Our first two results have set us up for this match now, so we just have to finish the job,” he added.
“It is an achievement for all of the teams to get to these Finals, but we want to go even further than that now.”