'I'll give it my all'
Jamie Bradbury in Barcelos
Friday, 03 September, 2010
Danny Welbeck has a spring in his step as England prepare to face Portugal.
Danny Welbeck is hoping to continue the good start to the season he’s had at Sunderland when England’s Under-21s meet Portugal in Barcelos on Friday evening.
The Manchester United forward moved to the Stadium of Light on a season-long loan and has played in all four of the games so far this campaign, including a substitute appearance in the 1-0 victory over big-spenders Manchester City last weekend.
The 19-year-old also played 45 minutes for the Under-21s in their 2-0 win against Uzbekistan three weeks ago – his first cap since October - taking his total games for Stuart Pearce’s men to five. Now he’s aiming to carry on where he left off against Manchester City and help England pick-up the three points they vitally need to bring back from Portugal.
“I’ve made a few substitute appearances for Sunderland and played pre-season at United, so I’m feeling good. Going out on loan to Sunderland will hopefully give me a chance of regular football,” he told TheFA.com.
“I came on for Fraizer (Campbell) at the weekend and feel I did pretty well. It was good playing against a big team like Manchester City and everyone was delighted about getting the right result.
“When you’re playing well for your club you grow in confidence, so playing more games gives you that spring in your step.”
This week, Welbeck’s focus has turned to international matters: “We know what we have to do; win these next two games if we are going to qualify. It’s going to be tough, but we’re confident we can get the right result.
“The gaffer doesn’t want to put too much pressure on us, but he wants to prepare us for the game in the right way as he usually does. But we’ve got a lot talent in the squad and feel we’re capable of getting the right result.”
He continued: “I enjoy coming away with England and it’s always good to get called up for any England squad. You meet up with players your own age and you can see where you stand in comparison to them.
“I had the disappointment of being injured, so that set me back a bit, but being back here with the Under-21s is really good for me and I’m going to give my all.”
Victory for England in Portugal would take them one step closer to the play-offs for the Finals in Denmark next year, but they also need to beat Lithuania on Tuesday in Colchester to keep their hopes of at least a top-four runners-up slot alive.
If things go their way this week, then a two-legged play-off would beckon for them next month and only after that could they contemplate the Finals, but it’s something Welbeck would love to sample again.
“The European Championship at Under-21 level is massive,” he said. “I’ve played in the U17s and the U19s Finals, but this would be another big step if we could make it and show that I’m progressing personally too."
Welbeck added: “Just to get there would be a bonus at the minute, but if we get there and give it our all maybe we can go that one step further than last time.”