Nedum Onuoha says that defeat to France will help England learn valuable lessons
Under-21 International Match
Gabriel Obertan 26, Moussa Sissoko 35
The City Ground, Nottingham Forest FC
8pm, Tuesday 31 March 2009
Live on Setanta
Nedum Onuoha says that the 2-0 defeat to France on Tuesday night can only help England in the long run, with the summer's UEFA European Championship now next on the agenda.
Manchester City defender Onuoha, who wore the captain's armband for the second game in four days with Steven Taylor out through injury, believes that it's important to look at the good and bad things from every result as England finalise their preparations for Sweden.
Two first half goals at Nottingham Forest from French pair Gabriel Obertan and Moussa Sissoko sent The Three Lions to their first defeat at home since October 2005. But Onuoha says that, as long as the team learns from their mistakes at the City Ground, they'll do well.
"There were lessons learned, but you take something out of every game you play. We didn’t just take out all of the positiives from the 5-0 win on Friday, we also worked on a few things that we thought we could have done better on in that game," said Onuoha.
"You can learn from defeat, but you also learn from victories. If you ignore all of the wins you have and only look at improving on your defeats, when you go through a spell of winning games, like we have, you won’t learn anything. We always look at every game at take something out of it. We lost 2-0, but have identified things we could do better and that’s the critical part."
He continued: "France are not a bad side, expecially when they’ve got a lead, as they have composure, strength and they are clever as well. It was one of those days where we made it too hard for ourselves from the get-go.
"We did improve as the game progressed, but it was too late."
And despite the disappointment of losing in front of over 23,000 fans at the City Ground, Onuoha, who has 18 caps and one goal for the under-21s, still believes England are a tough team to beat.
"With the team we have I’m confident that we can win going into every game. We lost against France, but we could play them again in two or three months and it could be completely different. Today was one of those days, we didn’t do certain things right but when we do them right it’s going to be hard for most teams.
"You have to take the game in isolation. Its not the end of the world, it’s just one game. We’ve played a tough game against France, but have let ourselves down on certain things. From this though, it’s where the character of the team comes through and hopefully next time you’ll see a team that is strong from this experience and we’ll hopefully do much better. We’ll pick the bones out of everything to look at how we can improve."
1 Joe Hart, 2 Martin Cranie (17 Jack Rodwell, 85), 3 Andrew Taylor (15 Jamie O’Hara, 85), 4 Michael Mancienne, 5 David Wheater (14 Fabrice Muamba, 46), 6 Nedum Onuoha, 7 James Milner (18 Danny Welbeck, 71), 8 Tom Huddlestone, 9 Matt Derbyshire (19 Fraizer Campbell, 60), 10 Mark Noble (12 Craig Gardner, 71), 11 Adam Johnson
Subs not used 13 Scott Loach, 16 Lee Cattermole
Coach Stuart Pearce
1 Johan Carrasso, 2 Garry Bocaly, 3 Cheikh M'Bengue, 4 Paul Baysse, 5 Dorian Dervite, 6 Etienne Capoue, 7 Gabriel Obertan (17 Jirès Kembo Ekoko, 61), 8 Moussa Sissoko, 9 David N'Gog (18 Frédéric Nimani, 60), 10 Younousse Sankhare (14 Marvin Martin, 90+1), 11 Armand Traore (15 Yohan Mollo, 80)
Subs not used 12 Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik, 13 Lamine Gassama, 16 Johnny Placide
Goals Gabriel Obertan (26), Moussa Sissoko (36)
Coach Erick Mombaerts