Caulker: ‘The lads are buzzing’
Sunday, 25 July, 2010
Defender’s delight at clinching semi-final spot.
England defender Steven Caulker spoke for the whole squad last night after helping the Young Lions into the final four of the European Championship Finals.
The Tottenham Hotspur ace has been a colossus at the back for Noel Blake’s team over the course of the season and was again in imperious form against the French on Saturday as England got a deserved draw to take them through to the semi-final.
It came via a late goal from Matt Phillips in Saint-Lo, but after creating a raft of opportunities and piling pressure on the French goal for the final quarter of the match, it was nothing less than England’s performance warranted.
“All of the lads are buzzing at the moment,” said Caulker after the game.
“We’re delighted to have got through, as that’s what we intended to do. We could have done it in a better fashion with a win, but still it was good to get the goal at the end and our hopes keep on going.
“I think we’ve been constantly improving and the game against the French was our hardest test but we’re getting stronger as it’s gone on.
“We beat Austria in the first game, but we didn’t play as well as we know we can and then we improved against Holland in the second half but obviously lost that game. Today we were even better.
“We changed the system towards the end to three at the back, so we definitely had our work cut out but I thought we all did well, from Dec in goal right through the team. I thought we played really well.”
Caulker also spoke of his joy at seeing Phillips score the crucial goal to take the Young Lions through. The Wycombe Wanderers winger only came into the squad for the Elite Qualifying Round in May, where he played a big part in helping England through to the Finals and he has since become a popular member of the group..
“We’re all delighted for him,” he said.
“He’s quite new to the system, he’s over the moon with his goal and the team are very happy.”