Peacock: Development is key

John Peacock says it’s the level his England U17s are at next summer that’s the most important thing after watching them succumb to a late sucker punch against Portugal.

Layton Ndukwu had equalised Moreto’s strike shortly after half-time, but a late goal from Tavares condemned England to a cruel defeat. 

The loss puts the Portuguese level at the top of the group with Italy on four points, with the Azzurrini next in store for Peacock’s youngsters on Sunday. 

England 1-2 Portugal

The FA U17 International Tournament
Friday 29 August 2014
Proact Stadium, Chesterfield FC
Attendance: 1,073

With just the one point to their name, the head coach knows top spot may just be out of reach, but he believes the final standings are irrelevant when it comes to his players development. 

“Obviously we don’t have a lot to play for in terms of winning the tournament, but its not about that,” Peacock explained to TheFA.com. 

“It’s a learning curve this week. The players are getting to know me a little bit and I’m getting to know them. 

“All 18 have been on the pitch, and we’ll rotate again on Sunday.” 

He continued: “They are trying to do the right things and that is what’s most important. And it is not about where we finish this week, it is about where we are at the end of the season.” 

England enjoyed the majority of possession at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium, and despite the loss, Peacock believes his squad will benefit from the test. 

England U17s v Portugal

Layton Ndukwu netted England’s goal

“They are learning lessons, and we had a lot of possession like we did on Wednesday,” he said. 

“Portugal scored two very good goals, but we were disappointed with how they got into those positions in the first place – but I can’t fault the finishes. 

“Overall it was another great experience for the players and I’m sure it is something they will learn from.” 

England face Italy at 3pm on Sunday at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium.

Tickets cost £3 for adults and £1.50 for U16s per game and can be purchased from the Burton Albion Club Shop at the Pirelli Stadium, or by calling 01283 565938 between 8.30am and 5.30pm.