Noel's next aim
Friday, 28 May, 2010
Head Coach pleased with win, but now focused on Monday's decider.
UEFA European U19 Championship
Elite Qualifying Round
26-31 May 2010
Click here for results
By Nicholas Veevers
England U19s Head Coach Noel Blake saw his side make it two wins out of two in their Elite Qualifying Round on Friday, with a convincing victory against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Kiev.
The result now sets up his side for a winner-takes-all contest against host nation Ukraine on Monday, to decide who will head to France in July for the European U19 Championship Finals.
Goals from Ryan Noble, Matt Phillips, John Bostock and Nathan Delfouneso were good enough on the day to see off Bosnia and Blake was pleased with his side’s display to follow on from Wednesday's hard fought victory over Republic of Ireland.
“Of course you’re always going to be happy with two wins from two games,” Blake told TheFA.com
“And to score four goals without reply in any age group at international level is no mean feat, but you always do feel a bit greedy and want more and I felt we could’ve gone on and scored a fifth or sixth goal, because goal difference could prove very important in the end.
“I was pleased with the way we played though, because there was some decent stuff, we got in behind them quite a lot and combined very well.
“We also defended quite well and dug in when we had to, because Bosnia came out strongly in the second half and had a good ten or 15 minute spell when they hit the bar and put us under some pressure.
“We were a little patchy against Ireland in the first game, but this was a better performance and we know it will be decided on Monday now, come what may.”
Blake was also pleased with some of the individual performances he saw, with Wycombe Wanderers ace Phillips impressing on his full debut and Crystal Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne putting in a good shift in an unfamiliar role.
“We did well all over the pitch and combined really well. Matty Phillips has come in for his first start for the U19s and did really well,” revealed Blake.
“And Clynie played at left-back, which is not really his natural position, so we’re really pleased with that. It was a good team performance though, so we can take that forward into Monday.”
Following the game, Blake was almost immediately transported away from Kiev to Ukraine’s base in Borodyanka to take in their game with Ireland, as that result will have an impact on how the situation will lie going into Monday’s match.
Ukraine beat Bosnia by 4-1 in their opener on Wednesday, so depending on what the scoreline is against Ireland, England could go into the game needing a win or just a draw in order to secure their place in the last eight of the competition for what would be a third successive year.
“We‘ve won two out of two now, so we’ve got to be pleased with that,” he added.
“We go into every game to win, and that won’t change on Monday so we’ll prepare as we do for every game and be ready.”