Dewsnip reflects on defeat

Neil Dewsnip wants his England U18s squad to learn two lessons from their defeat to Italy on Wednesday.

Despite dominating for large spells, two goals in as many second-half minutes from Simone Edera and Simone Minelli saw the Young Lions slip to a 2-0 defeat in Caorle in front of a passionate home crowd.

Although naturally disappointed with the defeat, the Head Coach says he feels for his players after their efforts, but wants them to learn from their experience at Stadio Giovanni Chiggiato.

Italy 2-0 England

U18 International
Wednesday 24 September 2014
Stadio Giovanni Chiggiato, Caorle

“I’m disappointed for the players in that they trained really well, have shown a fantastic group identity and team spirit – and I felt we were in control of the game at half time,” Dewsnip told TheFA.com.

“Then, we’ve had a couple of minutes of madness, or Italian brilliance, whichever way you want to look at it and found ourselves chasing the game. So I feel for them as they’ve put so much into it.

“The pitch was difficult, it was slow and very dry, and we have a few players who love to run with the ball and look to take people on. It took a little while for us to work that out, but once we got to grips with it from 20 minutes until half time we did really well.”

Having failed to turn their dominance into goals, the boss wants his players to take some valuable lessons away from their trip to northern Italy.

“I hope they have taken two things on board,” he explained. “Firstly, to come away to a major footballing nation such as Italy – where to win away from home in their own backyard is a real challenge and far from easy – if they didn’t know that then they obviously know it now.

“Secondly, I would hope that they’ve learnt when you dominate games, and I thought we dominated the end of both halves, you’ve got to hurt them. That obviously means scoring goals.”

Wednesday’s encounter saw three players win their first England caps – Tottenham Hotspur’s Kyle Walker-Peters started whilst Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham and Shrewsbury Town goalkeeper Harry Lewis appeared off the bench late on.

Despite the scoreline, Dewsnip added that he was pleased with the trio’s work this week and outlined his intentions for the rest of the campaign.

“It’s been very positive,” he admitted. “Part of what we are trying to do with the U18s programme is look at new players. It’s low-risk in the sense that it’s a non-competitive year, and therefore we can do that.

“What we know is that through our experiences there are late developers that come and play in the national team eventually. So this is an opportunity to look at some players, which we’ve done, and I thought they all did smashing.”