'Confident of tackling Spanish threat'

 Ecstatic about playing in front of a vociferous crowd at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan once again, England’s head coach Steve Cooper sounded confident of his side’s chances against Spain in the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Saturday.

“It’s fitting that they (Spain) are in the final. They are a very good team, right from the back to the front and we respect that,” said Cooper.

“We know where their strengths lie and where we can exploit them. If we can play to our plan, then we will have a good game. But even they know all about us, so by no means it will be an easy game. But I am confident that my boys will make me proud.”

Last time they played the La Rojitas, England ended as the second best side, losing in the final of the U-17 Euros. Though it was hard on a side that had reached the final undefeated, Cooper said the boys took the loss in their strides and had learnt a lesson or two from that outing. 

“That was the first competitive tournament the boys played together as a team. And to get that far in your first outing is commendable. There’s everything to be proud of. It was a learning experience for us and we are confident of taking positives from there for tomorrow’s game,” Cooper stated.

While this will be the first time that England will be playing the final, Spain will be attempting to cross this hurdle for the fourth time, having lost the final in 1991, 2003 and 2007. Head coach Santiago Sanchez was confident of his side going the distance this time around

“Of course we want to win the title. There have been top quality players in Spain who never won this title, but we want to change that. We are working towards that. Being in the final of a World Cup is the biggest motivation; I don’t think we need anything more,” he said.

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