England Futsal star Doug Reed and his squad-mates are preparing themselves for two tough games against Lithuania this week – with the visitors looking for revenge after the nations’ previous meeting this year.
Reed was part of Peter Sturgess’ team which turned over Lithuania in Kaunas in January as England progressed beyond the Euro preliminary qualifiers for the first time in their short Futsal history.
And with Lithuania now visiting east London’s Sporthouse venue for two games, the Baku United player says England will be approaching the fixtures in good spirits but also wary of the dangers posed by their opponents.
“We will be going into these games with confidence that we can win both of them, especially after our good performances against them in Lithuania earlier this year,” revealed Reed.
“But we’re currently in the process of changing our tactics and playing style to help take us to the next level on the international stage.
“So in these matches with Lithuania, we’ll be trying some new things which could perhaps make us more vulnerable.”
England head coach Sturgess has included four new faces in his squad for these games, leaving Reed as one of the most experienced players in the group.
And he has some fond memories from his time playing with the England Futsal squad over the years, as the sport has grown and developed.
He explained: “When I first started playing for England, all of the players were 11-a-side footballers who only played Futsal when there was an England training camp.
“Now all of the squad play Futsal on a weekly basis in The FA National Futsal League, and this has made a big difference to the quality of the England team.
“At this level you can’t switch between Futsal and football and expect to perform well against top teams.
“Now our camps are three or four days long, which allows for us to learn and develop so much quicker and to build a true team spirit.”
England’s first game takes place on Thursday evening at Sporthouse in Barking, kicking-off at 7.30pm.
They meet again at the same venue 24 hours later, woth tickets priced at just £3 for adults and £1.50 for concessions.