Craig prepared for final two Euro 13 qualifiers
CRAIG Dawson insists England Under-21s have what it takes to win their final two Euro 2013 qualifiers – and move a step closer to the finals.
Stuart Pearce’s side, who are currently top of Group 8, take on Azerbaijan in Baku this afternoon (ko 4pm BST), and face Norway at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium on Monday (ko 7pm).
Victories in their two remaining fixtures will see England through to the play-off stages of qualification for next summer’s tournament in Israel.
And the former Rochdale defender is looking forward to returning to Under-21s action after a six-month sabbatical due to the Olympics.
“We’ve spent a lot of time together over the summer with the Olympics and although this side, in theory, hasn’t played together for a while, I’m sure we’ll pick up where we left off,” said Dawson.
“It can only help the under-21s set-up that we’ve been together as a unit for the majority of the summer.
“We’re almost like a club team really, in terms of how much time we spend together, and hopefully we can show everyone what we are capable of over the two games.
“We’re all looking forward to getting back into under-21s mode as we started the group stage well.
“I’m sure everybody will be looking forward to getting together and we’ll be looking to finish strongly.
“Our aim is to win the group and the play-off game.
“It will be a tough game in Azerbaijan and I’m sure it will be another different experience for me.
“It will be a good experience to go somewhere you might not otherwise go to.
“We need a result from that game so we will be very focused on that.
“We had a good result when we played them at Watford in the first game and we’d take the same result over there.
“Then we have to prove ourselves against Norway at Chesterfield which will be another difficult test.”
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Tickets for England’s Proact Stadium game with Norway on Monday are priced £10 adults and £5 children (£0.50 per order for credit card payment applies).