Thursday, November 15

By Isaac Hayden

Isaac Hayden

I really can't wait to get back into NextGen Series action tonight in Bilbao - and it really is a vital one for us as far as our hopes of progressing to the knockout stages go.

I missed the last game in Marseille - although I was playing for England Under-18s against Italy so it wasn't too bad! By the sounds of what the boys have told me about the pitch in France, it might have been a good one to miss!

The surface didn't look too good, and the boys didn't deserve to lose the game either. It was very disappointing, especially as their winner came in the last minute, but now we are looking to rectify things against Bilbao.

We have a couple of spies in our camp in Jon Toral and Hector Bellerin, who have both played against Bilbao in the past when they were at Barcelona. They have told us what we are likely to come up against, although we know the general style that Spanish teams try to play, and we will be prepared for that.

They will play out from the back, press us high up the pitch and will have some high-calibre players. They have always been known for producing good young players, so it will be a big test for us.

But we are 100 per cent confident of getting the win that we need. We feel we have been playing quite well recently at both under-18 and under-21 level, so we just need to put it altogether in Bilbao tonight.

If we do that, we can keep our NextGen hopes alive.

NextGen Series blog archive:

Time to put things right
Athens adventure
Laying down a marker

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15 Nov 2012