England U20s defender Danny Potts says focus has sharpened on World Cup opener
By Nicholas Veevers in Antalya
says England are now ready for the ‘business end’ of their World Cup preparations.
The Three Lions face Iraq in their opening game on Sunday and after a week of training in Turkey to acclimatise, it’s almost time for action.
West Ham defender Potts and his squad mates transferred to their new World Cup base in Antalya on Wednesday, where they are housed along with group rivals Iraq, Chile and Egypt.
And the 19-year-old told FATV
that the new surroundings bring a definite World Cup feel to the group.
He said: “We’ve had a good solid week at the previous hotel, we had a good friendly win and now we’re here with the other three nations.
“It’s sinking in now that the games are getting closer by the day, when you see the other teams knocking about you get a tournament feel.”
England are situated in Antalya for the next week before moving north to Bursa, where they will play their final group match with Egypt.
The squad are well aware of the challenges that lie ahead for them over the next eight days, but the focus and ambition is clear.
Potts added: “We’re in the group and we want to come top.
“So we’re only thinking about our performances and how we can win and qualify for the next stage.
“It’s been a good week of training, but now as the game is getting closer we’re starting to take a look at the opponents.
“The build-up has been for this first game and we want to get off to a good start.”
There’s certainly a strong spirit around the squad, with harmony built over the two separate training camps back in England before meeting-up for the World Cup last Monday.
And former England U18 and U19s man Potts says it’s been great to be a part of the group since the first day they met up for what is the biggest competition below senior international football.
“For a group of lads that have never been together and as a team that have never played together and come from clubs around the country, the atmosphere between the squad that we’ve got has been spot on so far,” he explained.
“For all the lads here, this is the biggest tournament on the international stage that they’re going to be a part of.
“There are lads who have been to the U19 Euros but this competition is only second to the World Cup itself in terms of the size of the tournament.
“So it will be a great experience for all of the lads.”
Watch the full interview with Danny on FATV below.