Friday, 11 November, 2011
Head Coach pleased with win and passing but urges more patience.
By Nicholas Veevers
England U19s Head Coach Noel Blake saw his team secure a narrow, but deserved, victory over Denmark at the Amex Stadium on Thursday night and still knows where he wants his players to improve.
A goal from West Ham striker Rob Hall ten minutes from time gave Blake’s Young Lions the win against a resilient Denmark team and whilst he was pleased with the way his side played in general, he is still eyeing improvements at the business end of the pitch.
“Around the final third I thought we rushed things a little bit and that was the key message from me, we need to be more patient around the final third,” he said.
“Otherwise though, we had to keep the ball moving around and I was pleased with our passing tonight.
“It was a tough fixture. Sometimes people don’t realise just how tough international football is at all levels. You could see that they made it very difficult for us to break them down and they were very hard to play against as they were very compact.
“They mirror their national senior team really and they’re very difficult to play through so we had to be patient. They threatened us on a few occasions, but from our point of view we just had to keep moving the ball and I was pleased with our passing.
“Sometimes you only win 1-0 in these matches and tonight it went in our favour.
“At times, we’ve been used to a more direct style and 100mph football but we’re trying to change that ethos and philosophy with our teams and to be a bit more patient and selective and do certain things at the appropriate time.”
Blake was also delighted with the support his side received from the crowd at the Amex Stadium and the atmosphere created in what was the first international fixture at the new home of Brighton & Hove Albion.
“We were delighted with the facility and the crowd,” he added. “Their behaviour was exemplary, there was respect shown for both national anthems and also the minute’s silence.
“The more exposure the players can get, the better it is for them. A few of the group have played senior football with their clubs so they’re used to big crowds and a few more are getting a taste of it.
“There are seven or eight of the boys from this age group who are already in the Under-21s so that shows the depth we have in this group.”