England Tactical Analysis News Opinion

England Under-21‘s midfielder Lewis Cook has called for focus ahead of UEFA Euro 2019 qualifier against Andorra.

The Young Lions need just a point from games against Andorra and Scotland to secure a place at next summer’s finals in Italy and San Marino.

Complacency won’t be an issue

AFC Bournemouth midfielder Cook has reiterated that there will be no complacency from his team-mates when Andorra visit Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium on Thursday.

He said:

“We need one point out of the next two games.”
 “Complacency won’t creep into our squad, we want to get the job done as soon as possible. We’re just focussing on giving our all and trying to get the points.”

 

England manager Gareth Southgate has called up Ben Chilwell, James Maddison and Mason Mount for the senior side, promoting them from the under-21’s

21-year-old Cook is pleased his teammates are being rewarded for their performances.

He said:

“It’s great to see teammates going up to the first-team, it’s great for us as a team.”
“I think everyone’s got talent, I couldn’t single one player out. We’re a team and bounce off each other.”
“We’re all in this together as one team (all ages). Everyone’s a top player, especially the ones who’ve just come up, I wish them all the best.”
“I got a taste of it when I went last time and it was fantastic, it was a great achievement for myself. But now I’m on Under 21s duty and that’s what I’m focusing on.”

England expecting a tough test 

The Young Lions sit top of Group four, needing just a point to secure their place at next summer’s finals.

Under-21’s manager Aidy Boothroyd wants qualification for Euro 2019 secured as early as possible but isn’t expecting an easy time against the Andorrans.

He said:

“I want that (qualification) sorted before we go to Scotland. It won’t be easy, Andorra will come and park the bus like they did when we played there.”
“They made it very difficult and we only scored in the 74th minute. So it will be a tough game but we have to make sure we have the creativity, patience and guile to break them down.”

Lewis Cook came on as a substitute the last time England faced Andorra, and he is expecting another stern test against Justo Ruiz’s side on Thursday.

He said:

“It was hard conditions. I think most teams and their players want to beat England. They came at us, but thankfully we got the win.”

Should Cook be an England regular? 

AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes Cook and his teammate Callum Wilson should be England regulars.

Wilson, 26, has enjoyed a fine start to the campaign with four goals and five assists in nine appearances in all competitions for Bournemouth.

Cook has been equally as influential for a Cherries side who are sixth in the Premier League after eight games, following their 4-0 thrashing of Watford on Saturday.

The England Under-21 captain has insisted he is now looking too far ahead.

He said:

“It’s always nice for someone to hear that. But I try not to put too much pressure on myself or anyone else. I just want to focus on where I’m at now and trying to perform for club and country.”