Welbeck: ‘Down to practice’

Danny Welbeck was delighted to be England’s two-goal hero in Basel on Monday night, but says the result was down to the team’s hard work on the training pitch.

Two second-half strikes from the recent Arsenal recruit capped off a solid performance from Roy Hodgson’s men as they started their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign in perfect fashion.

Having spent the last nine days together as a squad, which included a Wembley win over Norway on Wednesday, the 23-year-old was pleased that the team – and the fans – can head home happy,

Switzerland 0-2 England

European Qualifier
Monday 8 September 2014
St Jakob Park, Basel

“It was a good performance and stuff we have been working on in training has really come off tonight and that is a pleasing factor,” Welbeck told TheFA.com shortly after the 2-0 win at St Jakob Park.

“We had to soak up the pressure when we went one ahead but we defended really well as a team and limited their chances. 

“We set up our gameplan a bit different because once they were a bit more in control of the game, we had to work on the counter-attack. But we knew we had the players and the speed to break them down. In the dying minutes we got that second goal.

“With the players we have got in the squad, we really want to be pushing on. We have got a youthful side and a number of young players in the team. 

“It is good to look forward, we know we can improve massively in each and every single game.”

Welbeck continued: “Credit to the fans for making the journey. It is a difficult one because at the World Cup we didn’t do as well as many people expected to do but we have got great fans. 

“They followed us here, the support was amazing and thankfully we have sent them home happy.”

Welbeck was handed a starting berth by Hodgson after Daniel Sturridge was forced out of contention due to injury.

And he repaid the faith shown in him by the England manager, netting his 10th goal for his country in what was his 28th outing.

Welbeck also paid tribute to Raheem Sterling, whose sparkling display created both of the chances from which the former Manchester United man scored.

“I enjoy playing further up the pitch. That’s well known and when I get my opportunity I am just looking to take it,” he said.

“Thankfully today I got the two goals but it is credit to the whole team really with the way we played, the way we attacked. 

“It was the perfect start to the qualifiers, but we need to carry this on now and make sure we prepare for every single game tactically and mentally.”

He added: “Raheem has been a problem for so many defenders in the Premier League. 

“I love playing with Raheem – he is a player that I know and once he is one the ball he can get forward. That is something that I like because I can make runs in behind and playing one-twos and bounce off each other. 

“It is the same with many other attackers in the team so I think Raheem was very good tonight and I enjoy playing together with him.”