Nouble wants more from England

After opening Group A with a win and two goals, Frank Nouble is convinced there is more to come from England, saying: "We know we can go far in the tournament if we play to our potential."

England forward Frank Nouble in France
©Sportsfile

The first round of UEFA European Under-19 Championship matches ended in satisfactory fashion for Frank Nouble and his England team-mates, although the striker is convinced there is plenty more to come from Noel Blake's side.

Nouble struck two first-half goals in Flers to set the 2009 runners-up on their way to a 3-2 victory against Austria and, while describing that as a "good start", is already looking for further improvement. "We want more," he told UEFA.com. "We've started well but we won't be happy if we don't at least get through the group. We just hope we can take it step by step and see how we get on. In terms of fitness and sharpness we're still getting there but we've shown lots of good stuff so far so hopefully we can continue that."

The next obstacle for Noel Blake's team is a Netherlands team beaten 4-1 by hosts France in the first round of Group A games, and Nouble recognises the remaining two matches will present stern tests. "We've watched the highlights of the France-Netherlands game but we know quite a lot about the two teams anyway. We've played them quite a lot over the last two years and they're pretty much the same players. The French look good, and we played the Dutch a few months ago so it's nothing we'll be too surprised about. It's a tough game coming up on Wednesday."

Both England and their opponents should know exactly what to expect in Bayeux having shared a 1-1 draw in Waalwijk in March, a match Nouble expects to have a bearing on events at the Stade Henry Jeanne. "It has a little bit of an impact; we played well in that game," he said. "We remember who's playing and what type of player they are, so that helps but it's tournament football now and a different scenario. We're in the same hotel and the Dutch seem quite nice people; every now and again in the games room we've played table tennis together. Obviously when it comes to game time it's a different ball game.

"As the Dutch lost their first game, they have to win really – they have to come out and play," he added. "Hopefully we can capitalise on their openness and get another positive result. We know we can play better than we did against Austria. We haven't conceded many goals this year so to let in two in the first game was a bit of a surprise. They scored a good free-kick and the second goal was a good strike as well but overall we need to kill the game better. We could have kept the ball better; we gave them it far too many times and that contributed to them having more chances."

Although England are already familiar with the Netherlands threat, Nouble revealed preparations for the game will follow the same pattern to usual. "You've got to watch your opposition, see what their strengths and weaknesses are. The England set-up have done really well in terms of that; we do get quite a lot of information. They show clips – general points rather than individuals because you never know who's playing. But really it's down to what we do; we know we can go far in the tournament if we play to our potential. Everyone's confident now; if we win this one qualification's in the bag."

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