Thursday, 07 October, 2010
Delfouneso hoping for third successive summer of England duty.
England hitman Nathan Delfouneso is hoping he can be involved at the top end of international football for the third successive summer by helping the Under-21s to the European Championship Finals in Denmark.
The Aston Villa striker featured for the U19s in their Euro Finals in Ukraine last year, where he landed the Golden Boot award, and then again in France in July but he is now focusing on helping the Under-21s qualify for their Finals next June.
Stuart Pearce’s side take on Romania in Norwich on Friday in the play-offs knowing that victory over two legs will be enough to see them into the last eight. After a thrilling finish to the group stages last month, which took in back-to-back wins against Portugal and Lithuania, Delfouneso is hoping that their form can be taken on into these games.
“The boys did very well as a group last time around,” said the 19-year-old.
“We had to win both games and we went to Portugal, who are one of the best teams in the world, never mind Europe and won. That was a great result for us and that set us up for the Lithuania game.
“That game was a bit tricky at first, but the boys kept going and put a performance on and it was a great result.
“We were all very grateful and happy to have gone through the group stages.”
Now they face the Romanians, with home advantage at a sold-out Carrow Road on Friday before the return leg in Botosani next Tuesday.
It will be a trip into the unknown for Delfouneso too, as he revealed he has yet to come up against the Romanians in nearly 40 appearances for various England teams over the years.
“I’ve never played against them, so I’m unsure what to expect,” he admitted.
“They’ll be very keen and hungry and they must be a good side to get this far in the competition.
“It will be a tough game for us, but the boys are looking forward to it and hopefully we can come away with the right outcome and set ourselves up for the summer.”
Delfouneso visited a local school in Norwich on Wednesday, so see what he thought of that in an FATV feature by clicking here.