England U20s Head Coach Peter Taylor speaks ahead of Sunday's World Cup opener
England v Iraq
FIFA U20 World Cup 2013
7pm (BST), Sunday 23 June
Live on Eurosport and FIFA.com
Click here for fixtures
By Nicholas Veevers in Antalya
England U20s Head Coach Peter Taylor spoke of his honour at being involved in the World Cup in Turkey as his side prepare to get their campaign underway.
The Three Lions face their World Cup opener against Iraq on Sunday evening and the squad trained at the Akdeniz University Stadium in Antalya on Saturday afternoon.
That follows on from England’s arrival in Turkey ten days ago and three separate training camps before that and Taylor has been happy with the preparations.
He said: “We're very pleased to be here in Turkey.
“We've trained on three separate occasions now in Antalya, once at the stadium and twice at the training ground.
“The boys are ready and very excited for the game. It should be a fantastic tournament.”
Taylor had a spell in charge of the Bahrain national team, near neighbours of Iraq, between 2011 and 2012 when he coached the side against them in a regional tournament in Doha.
So he has an idea what to expect from Hakeem Al Azzawi’s team, who qualified for the World Cup by finishing second in the Asian U19 Championship to Korea Republic.
And he knows that the Three Lions cannot be too complacent as they approach their first fixture.
He added: “Looking at the Iraq team, they look a very strong and talented side and we know that we will be in for a very tough match.
“We have a strong idea of the Iraq team, we've studied DVDs and had them watched several times.
“I believe we know their strengths and weaknesses but I'm sure the Iraq manager thinks the same way about us.
“Sometimes, English supporters have been guilty of not respecting other countries enough.
“I believe that all other nations are also working very hard on their youth systems and are improving all the time.”
With African champions Egypt and South American representatives Chile making up the rest of Group E, Taylor believes it will be a close finish.
All four nations will be looking to progress to the Second Round and knock-out stage at the very minimum.
And Taylor believes it will be hard to predict how the group will pan out over the next six days.
“I think we're in a difficult group, it’s a very close call,” he added.
“Whoever starts well and gets confidence can win the group and I think it will be very close.
“We want to be here in Turkey as long as we possibly can, I think it will be a fantastic tournament.
“Turkey have worked very hard to put this World Cup together, they've been great hosts so far.
“The facilities and training pitches have been good so far and I'm sure it’s going to be every success.”