Fanimo looking to fire

Matthias Fanimo is set to be in Victory Shield action for England Under-16s on Thursday evening.

The Young Lions face Northern Ireland at Chester in what will be their second match of the tournament and Fanimo will be hoping to transfer his impressive club form with West Ham United to the international stage. He made a good start to that quest when he was named man-of-the-match in England's opening Shield fixture against Wales.

"I was happy with the way I played against Wales," he reflected. "I was a bit disappointed that I didn't score but the main thing was that we won the game.

"Hopefully I'll have another good game against Northern Ireland and maybe I can get myself on the scoresheet this time. Before the Wales game I set myself a target - I wanted to score five goals to equal Michael Owen's record in this competition. It's going to be very difficult now, but I'll give it my best shot."

After making a solitary appearance in last year's competition, Fanimo is one of the more experienced heads this time around and is determined to help those who are experiencing the pressure for the first time.

"Because I was in their shoes last year I know what it's like. Once the game starts you really don't notice the crowd and you just get on with your normal game, so there's no real need to worry about the crowd beforehand.

"I know this game finished 6-0 last year and the Northern Ireland players will probably want to get revenge, but I thought we played well against Wales, especially in the second half, and if we can play like that again I think we've got a good chance."