Young Lions' attacking intent delights Sean O'Driscoll

Friday 14 Nov 2014
Sean O'Driscoll has won all four games in charge of the U19s

Sean O’Driscoll says he is delighted with the attacking intent shown by his England U19s side, after their impressive victory against Italy.

The Young Lions beat their Italian counterparts 3-0 at Rotherham’s New York Stadium on Friday evening, thanks to a brace from Izzy Brown and one from Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

And the head coach was pleased that the sell-out crowd saw a glimpse of the creativity coming through the international ranks. 

England U19s 3-0 Italy U19s

International U19s Match
7.45pm Friday 14 November
New York Stadium, Rotherham
Live on BT Sport

"Everybody can see we’re a team that wants to take chances and be bright and inventive," said O’Driscoll. 

"They’re not a boring team to watch. We create chances, but we give silly things away as well. That’s a learning curve, but technically we’re as good as anything you’ve seen. 

"We’ve just got to add that little bit of organisation, without taking anything away from the way they want to play."

It was O’Driscoll’s fourth win in as many matches in charge of the Young Lions, and despite the positive result, the former Doncaster Rovers, Nottingham Forest and AFC Bournemouth manager said his players still have a lot to learn.

"We’ve just got to get that balance right at times, but we’re not going to stop them trying to do what they want to do," he added. 

Chelsea duo Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Izzy Brown celebrate the opener against Italy

Chelsea pair Ruben Loftus-Cheek (L) and Izzy Brown (R) starred as England beat Italy 3-0

"They understand it though, they’re 18 years of age and they’ve got to be a little bit better on some of the basic things, but the difficult things they do very well already.

"They’re young men now, they’ve got to understand that it can’t be just a game of football, there’s more on it now. 

"There’s times in the game when the ugly things become the most important."

The result ensures England 2014 on a high, with many of the current crop continuing on from their U17 European Championship glory in May.

And O’Driscoll said he was grateful to England’s clubs for nurturing such an exciting group of players.

"You’ve got to give a lot of credit to the clubs they come from," he explained.

"They work with them day in day out, they produce this bunch of players.

"It is our job to make sure that when they come away with England they play the football that they want to play, they enjoy it. 

“The Rotherham crowd were fantastic and everybody appreciated it”

Sean O'Driscoll England U19 head coach

He finished by thanking the sell-out crowd in Yorkshire, and said that playing in front of such a large audience could only benefit his young stars.

"They’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. The the noise was fantastic and it’s a step up for them," he added.

"The Rotherham crowd were fantastic and everybody appreciated it."

Watch the match highlights from the New York Stadium


By Jamie Reid Senior Writer