Micciche ‘proud’ of England’s style and class at Nordics

Tuesday 29 Jul 2014
Micciche, third from the right, and his staff prior to the Finland match
Dan Micciche is “proud” of the class in which England are performing with at the Nordic Tournament.

His Young Lions drew 1-1 with Finland on Tuesday in their second match of the tournament, just 18 hours after thumping Iceland 5-1 in their opening game.

With the hectic fixture schedule and daily training since last Thursday, coupled with the boiling conditions in Denmark, the Head Coach was full of praise for the style of his side after their opening two encounters.

“I’m really proud of the boys. We’ve just played in 33 degrees heat, our second game in less than 24 hours, and four new starters against another very good and physical side.

Finland 1-1 England

Nordic U17 Tournament Kolding Stadium,
Kolding, Denmark 2pm,
Tuesday 29 July, 2014


“Finland’s squad were all the 1998 year group, whilst we have six from our 99 year group here to give them an early taste of international football, so when you put it all into context, I think we did very well.”

He continued: “We controlled the game in terms of possession, with a lot of style and class and the players conducted themselves well.

“We caused them a lot of tactical problems but just lacked that final pass to win the game.”

England had to come from behind to earn a point in Kolding against the Fins, but a belting strike that oozed class from Todd Cantwell left Micciche in awe.

“I’m delighted for Todd Cantwell with his goal. It was a fantastic strike, the way he bent it into the top corner, on his first start for England – absolutely fantastic. That will do him the world of good.”

He added: “It was one of a number of good individual performances across the team.

“For me it is all about the style, and they have really taken all that on board. Playing out from really tight and deep situations, the boys looked comfortable and classy.

“If we can keep that going then the results will take care of themselves playing that way.”

England head into their final group match with their fate resting in their own hands. They know that if they beat Sweden on Thursday, then a place in Saturday’s final awaits them.

Micciche is allowing his youngsters some time off on Wednesday before the group decider, but whatever the outcome, he is confident the trip will have a huge benefit on his squad’s future development.

“The lads are having a recovery session this evening, then we have a much needed day off, for the staff and players, tomorrow after a pool session in the morning,” Micciche said.

“We are going to take them out for some lunch, get them out of the hotel, and then to shopping centre for an hour before some down time.

“On Thursday morning we then get their minds back focussed, review the last game, have a light session then we go again at 6pm (5pm UK time).”

“It will probably be the same hot conditions again, but it is all part of the experience. We’ve just seen a World Cup where players are expected to play in extremely hot conditions.

“It’s difficult when you are asking 15 and 16-year-old boys to do it, but it’s a great opportunity to educate them about game management skills and having to play at a controlled pace and save energy. It’s absolutely fantastic for every one of them that is here.”

You can follow all the updates from England v Sweden by following @England on Twitter. 

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer in Kolding, Denmark