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Achtung baby

Filed: Monday, 22nd June 2009
By: Staff Writer

Mark Noble says that England's under 21s are delighted at having made the semi finals of the European Championships - but insists minds are firmly fixed on tonight's clash with Germany.

The England skipper, who led his side to the semis by virtue of an impressive 2-0 win against tournament favourites Spain last week told thefa.com that the intention now is to win the group convincingly by beating the Germans.

"It was a great win for us on Thursday and has set us up nicely for the semi-final," he said. "But we still have one more group game to win tonight.

"Just because we are through. weíre not going to take it easy. We want to win the game, finish top of the group and send out a message to the other teams.

"In the first game we didnít play as well as we can do, but against Spain we dominated. The boys have been fantastic in training, working hard, looking sharp, and we are well worth our place in the semi-final. We just want to win the group now."

Noble - whose first child Honey was born earlier this year - spent Father's Day away from his family who are back home in London. But he revealed that he had kept his spirits high by playing table tennis against Hammers team mate James Tomkins.

"I spoke to my girlfriend on the phone and got a message from my little girl," he said. "That was really nice. Itís horrible being away on my first Fatherís Day but itís for a good cause. Iíll be spending as much time with her [as possible] when I get home.

"[Here] the weather is really good mostly, so to be outside soaking up the rays is nice. Yesterday the lads were just sitting around inside or outside the hotel. I had another game of table tennis with Tonka - but it's not good news from my side!"

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