ENGLAND Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate is hoping his young Three Lions side will put on a show when they take on Kazakhstan in their first home Euro 2017 qualifier at the Ricoh Arena next Tuesday.
Coventry will host England’s only game in October as Southgate’s side look to build on their opening 1-0 away victory against Norway in group nine.
Gareth Southgate named a strong 23-man squad for the match on October 13 (5.45pm), with Arsenal’s Calum Chambers, Tottenham’s Eric Dier and Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse all set to play a part.
It will not be the first time Southgate has experienced the Ricoh having brought his Middleborough team to Coventry during his three-year spell at the Riverside.
And he wants his young Lions to impress the Coventry crowd with their exciting brand of attacking football.
“I’ve been here once before with Middlesbrough and we thought it was a fantastic stadium to play in with a really good atmosphere,” Southgate told the Observer.
“We’re looking forward to bringing an England team here. It’s an age-group where we can take England on the road and the supporters get to see some well known names, although not fully established stars.
“We’ve had some really good crowds up and down the country and I think the people that have come have liked the way that we’ve played and enjoyed the occasion.
“We hope the supporters that come to the game here will leave in the same way.
“We want the team to play exciting and attacking football. It’s quite a difficult role – we have to tick a lot of boxes. Yes we’re trying to develop players, yes we’re trying to win, but I believe we need to entertain as well so I think we have to have the right players in the squad to do that.”
Despite being firm favourites to make it two wins out of two in their Euro qualifying campaign, Southgate is aware of the threat that Kazakhstan pose.
He added: “People will look at the name and will be a bit dismissive of it but there’s been quite a bit of investment into football in the country.
“The Under-21s have already won in Bosnia in this group and lost very late on against Switzerland.
“They’re a really we organised defensive unit but with a threat in the counter attack so it’s a classic, old fashioned, European cup tie if you like.
“We’ll have to play very well to break them down but also be conscious not to fall asleep defensively so it’s a good challenge.”
Tickets for the game are on sale now and cost just £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. To purchase tickets visit www.ricoharena.com or call 02476 786411.
For your chance to win tickets to the game visit http://coventryobserver.co.uk/sport/competition-win-a-signed-pair-of-gloves-worn-by-englands-under-21-goalkeeper-in-coventry-10324/
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