Onuoha looks to the future
Nedum Onuoha says England's loss to Holland in 2007 will not enter his thoughts against Sweden.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 25/06/09 12:32pm
Nedum Onuoha insists he won't be thinking of the semi-final defeat to Holland in 2007 when England Under-21s face Sweden in the last four of the European Under-21 Championship on Friday.
Current captain Onuoha played in the 13-12 penalty shoot-out defeat to the Dutch in Holland two years ago and the 22-year-old is determined not to let history repeat itself.
This time around Stuart Pearce's men again find themselves pitted against the hosts with Sweden blocking their path to the final.
However, Onuoha revealed that events from two years ago will be the furthest thing from his mind when he takes to the field in Gothenburg on Friday.
"I think that is a totally separate event," he told Sky Sports News.
"I think this one is all about getting as far as you can in this competition because if you think about your past you can never really make the most of your future."
Following England's success in the group stages, where they were unbeaten, Onuoha admits that confidence in the camp has risen since they arrived at the tournament.
"I think we might be more confident now because we have played those three games," he added.
"We've done well in those games and it's a great position to be going into the semi-final, especially with it being in Gothenburg and hopefully we can finish it off and get to the final."
The Manchester City defender was confident the team could handle the hostility that comes with playing the host nation and pointed out that the side had triumphed against Finland in front of a predominantly Finnish crowd in their opening group game.
"They will obviously have the home support but in the game against Finland we were basically playing in a Finnish stadium so hopefully that won't bother us and we can get a result," he highlighted.
Onuoha was adamant that the players' minds were solely focused on the semi-final clash and not on a possible final date with either Italy or Germany.
"If you start thinking about the final when you have to play against a team as good as Sweden in the semi then you will never get there, will you?" he commented.
"They have scored a lot of goals and they work very hard and I think some of the teams they have played against they have made them look quite average.
"Even the result they lost against Italy I think they could have got a result there so it's going to be a tough game."