Nothing to fear: Cooper

Steve Cooper, the England U-17 coach, made it clear that regardless of last-minute decision to shift the U-17 World Cup semi-final from Guwahati to Calcutta, their preparations have not been hampered.

By A Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 25.10.17
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Calcutta: Steve Cooper, the England U-17 coach, made it clear that regardless of last-minute decision to shift the U-17 World Cup semi-final from Guwahati to Calcutta, their preparations have not been hampered.

"We like it obviously... We had a plan to come back here, but never thought that it would happen so early. But we are okay with it," the England coach said on Tuesday.

When asked about their opponents, Brazil, Cooper said: "England have qualified for the semis for the first time. We are really proud of it. Our journey has been good so far, but not finished. Brazil are a good unit."

"The semi-final against Brazil at a magnificent venue is amazing for sure... The biggest game for all of us. But nothing to fear, we have to stick to our plans, treat a game as it comes."

"We have a lot of respect for Brazil, for coach Carlos Amadeu. They are strong all around, Brazil played some great football. One down against Germany, they came back strongly and won the game. They showed a lot of fight and spirit to win the game," Cooper added.

He also feels that there is not much difference between them and their opponents. "We just want to play our way. The four teams left in the tournament don't have any massive difference," Cooper said.

England will be playing their fifth game at the venue. Cooper believes that it is going to be their advantage, but at the same time they want to make it count. "We can make it an advantage, playing here for the fifth time, got good result in the first four.

"We want crowd to support us more than the opposition. It's an amazing experience to play here. We want to make it a positive experience."

Asked whether Brazil's Lincoln and Paulinho are going to be a threat, the England coach said: "They are good players, but there are others in their squad who can also make an impact. We have to do our work and play according to our plans."

Cooper said that they want to play a possession-based game. " We want to play a possession-based game and work hard. If you change strategy from game to game, that means you don't have a plan. But we do have a plan."