Ulverston keeper Curtis: Rivals should fear England after opening World Cup win
CURTIS Anderson believes England Under-17s World Cup rivals should be fearing the Young Lions as they look to build on their opening 4-0 triumph in India.
England face Mexico in their second group game tomorrow, fresh from a thumping victory over Chile in their opener on Sunday.
Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho scored a brace, with Chelsea's Callum Hudson Odoi and substitute Angel Gomes, of Manchester United, also on target as the Ulverston teenager kept a clean sheet on his international tournament debut.
It was a solid display from Anderson – who was an unused substitute in the summer as England finished as runners-up in the European Championships, losing the final on penalties to Spain – and an impressive one from the team.
And the Manchester City keeper feels the Young Lions' rivals will have sat up and taken note of a team who are a threat to anyone in the competition.
“I was very happy with my performance,” added the former Yarlside School pupil. “It was a good, solid performance from myself, but that was made very easy for me by the outstanding performance from the team. They defended well and kept the ball pretty much all game, which didn't give them any chances.
“Winning the opening game in the fashion we did gives us a lot of confidence, but we expect to do that, so the main thing I think is that it puts fear into every other team. They need to respect us now – we are here to win, and we aren't here just for the experience.”
Mexico are next in line for England, having begun their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Iraq (12.30pm kick-off BST, live on Eurosport).
Anderson, who signed for Manchester City from Blackpool for a fee of £15,000 as an 11-year-old, expected the Central Americans to be similar in their set-up to the Chileans, but feels England hold their destiny in that and other games in their own hands.
“I'm expecting the match to be similar, but it's all in our control – we will dictate the game and play it our way, so it doesn't matter who we play against, it's all about us,” he said.
“We are just playing 11 players, they are trying to beat us, we are just doing our thing, which will be the same against all teams. It's all about us.”
The opening win over Chile was played in front of a 60,000-plus crowd in Kolkata – the same venue which hosts England's Group F matches with Mexico and Iraq.
Anderson said the crowd helped to make the experience even more special for the whole team, but that it was more important to him knowing that his friends and family back home were able to watch, as the game was broadcast on Eurosport.
“I took all the emotion out the game and enjoyed the moment and experience as soon as the final whistle went,” Anderson said of his World Cup bow.
“Every goal that went in, we celebrated as if it was first, probably because we realise how amazing it is to be in a World Cup and perform the way we did. It was an amazing experience, and the highest honour I've ever had.”
He added: “Playing in front of the crowd was special, but the thing that made me the proudest was knowing all my family and friends at home were watching on TV – that was more important to me.
“It's the biggest crowd I've played in front of, and the noise they made when we scored made the goals even more special, so thank you to them for that.”