Larkin backing footballers to reach semis
5:00pm Monday 3rd September 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
BRITAIN’S five-a-side football team now face a must-win situation to reach the London 2012 Paralympic semi-finals, but coach Tony Larkin is backing Lee Brunton and Dan English to deliver it.
Brunton, from North Shields, and English, from Washington , and co opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Spain and endured another stalemate yesterday with a goalless encounter against Argentina.
That leaves Pool A evenly poised with Spain and Argentina on four points and playing each other next and Britain on two and up against Iran, who have lost both their games, tomorrow.
Britain simply need to win to keep their hopes of a maiden Paralympic medal alive and coach Larkin believes in Brunton and English they have players for the future but who can deliver success now.
“Our game plan was not to get a draw against Argentina but to keep a clean sheet, we knew it was going to be really, really tight, and that was what we achieved,” said Larkin.
“We had more shots than them but not as many on target.
We told the lads to keep it tight and keep that clean sheet because we always know people like Dave Clarke, Darren Harris, Dan English and Robin Williams are capable of scoring. And we wanted to make sure we went into the last game with an opportunity of getting into the knockout stages because that is the stage you want to get to at the end of the day.
“We are in a good situation because Spain and Argentina play before us. We know we have got to beat Iran but we need to know by how many goals.
“We have the likes of Dave and Keryn, who are experienced, but we are blooding new players like Lee Brunton, Dan and Roy Turnham and they are the future of blind football.”
English suffered a knock to the head against Argentina but should be fine for the clash with Iran, while Brunton came on in the 35th minute but couldn’t find the net.
However, Larkin believes the style of Britain’s game will prove too much for Iran to handle.
“We will assess the Argentina game. Whatever you do, you don’t win the game within the first five minutes,” added Larkin.
“We are a hard team to break down but our game is getting the likes of Dave and Robin running at players.
“Iran have some good individuals but I don’t think they will be able to cope with the pace that we play at.”
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