England win U17 World Cup: 'We are heading where we want to go' – Cooper

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England’s Under-17 World Cup victory reflects the “good work” being done in youth development and provides further proof it is heading “where we want to go,” says manager Steve Cooper.
Saturday’s win over Spain secured England’s third major youth title of 2017, after the Under-20 World Cup and
the Under-19 European Championship.
England trailed Spain 2-0 after 31 minutes but came back to triumph 5-2.
“We’ve played like we want all of our England teams to play,” Cooper said.
“Brave on the ball – pass, pass, pass, not one long ball – get into good areas, play as a team and some good individual play up the field as well.
“I am just so proud of the performance. We played our way back in and stuck to our style. We are building for the future and that is the way to do it.”
Spain had beaten England Under-17s in the European Championship final in May, but goals from Morgan Gibbs-White, Marc Guehi, tournament top scorer Rhian Brewster and player of the tournament Phil Foden replied to Barcelona forward Sergio Gomez’s double in Calcutta.
The Three Lions had never before progressed beyond the quarter-finals in the tournament and Welshman Cooper said the result “tells you everything about the character of the English players.”
He told the FA’s website: “This trophy is a dedication to the good work being done back in England with the club academies and the development of young players.
“For me, it’s recognition of where English football not just is, but where it can go and where we want it to go.
“The feeling is… I’m speechless. It’s a little bit surreal and I think I’ll feel a little bit better tomorrow when we actually realise what we’ve done.”
Manchester City midfielder Foden, 17, said: “We knew we were capable of coming back, we just decided to stay calm. We didn’t get off to the best of starts but at half-time we got together and came out fighting. You’ve seen that in the second half.”
When City manager Pep Guardiola was told of Foden’s success after his side’s 3-2 Premier League win at West Brom, he said: “What position did he play? When I find out, I will put him in that position.”
The Spaniard added: “He is a young player. He is a player in our squad. Every day he is in the locker room with our guys. That is the best way to learn, from the experienced guys, about what it means to be at a high level.
“Big congratulations to the manager, all the staff and the players, because for English football, they need that.
“It is the step they need. It happened in Spain. Spain was always only the last 16, quarter-finals. They arrived one moment in the semi-finals and since then they have won every time. That’s why it is so important. Finally win. Big congratulations.” (BBC)

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