Crewe Alexandra: England under-19s stars Max Clayton and Nick Powell told to trust their genius
ENGLAND under-19s coach Noel Blake has told Max Clayton and Nick Powell to trust their own ability to destroy opposition with a single piece of genius.
Crewe forward Clayton and his former Alex team-mate Powell, now with Manchester United, will be key players as the Young Lions challenge for glory at this summer's youth European Championships.
And coach Blake says he will give them licence to thrill as England prepare to make a statement of intent against Turkey this evening (7.30pm).
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The friendly, at Telford, will serve as a final warm up for three crucial qualifiers in May, before the finals themselves in Lithuania in late July.
Blake said: "I will continue to encourage our midfielders and front players to express themselves in the attacking area of the field.
"I want them to take risks and remain positive in and around the opposition's penalty area.
"For some unknown reason, we don't shoot enough when we get into good shooting situations.
"I believe we possess some very good technical players, but they must learn to be more consistent with their performances at this level."
England under-19s face Belgium, Scotland and Georgia, with all matches in Belgium, in May, aiming to reach the main event.
Crewe forward Ryan Colclough could still win a call-up, having been on standby for the squad over the last few months.
Meanwhile, Powell will find out on Sunday if he has won the Mitre Goal of the Year Award for 2012 for his strike for Crewe against Cheltenham at Wembley last May.
The forward's goal, which set his side on the way to a 2-0 win in the League Two play-off final, is on a short list of five at the Football League Awards ceremony.
Former Alex striker Calvin Zola's stunner for Burton Albion against Oxford was one of 10 original nominations, but has not made the cut.
Former Crewe striker Tom Pope, now at Port Vale, has been nominated as League Two player-of-the-season. League One's nominations are Leon Clarke (Coventry City), Alan Judge (Notts County) and Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth).
Mitre Goal of the Year 2012 short list:Sam Byram – Leeds United (v Oxford United)Simon Cox Nottingham – Nottingham Forest (v Birmingham City) Mark Hudson – Cardiff City (v Derby County) Nick Powell – Crewe Alexandra (v Cheltenham Town)Josh Wright – Millwall (v Burnley)