Football

Albrighton hits back

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Marc Albrighton has responded to Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara's claim that he had not heard of any of England's players ahead of the sides' European Under-21 Championship opener by declaring: "I don't know any of your team either."

Barcelona youngster Thiago admitted the only players he knew of from Stuart Pearce's original squad were Jack Wilshere and Micah Richards, both of whom pulled out of this month's tournament.

Aston Villa midfielder Albrighton, who is hoping to start Sunday's mouth-watering Group B opener in Herning, hit back, saying: "They're obviously good at their mind games. If they want to think that then brilliant, that's a plus side for us because they're not going to be expecting what they're going to get on Sunday."

He added: "Obviously, it would've helped if Jack Wilshere, Andy Carroll and Micah Richards were here but the players that we've brought in to replace them are great players and will give us good options."

Asked if he would recognise the likes of Thiago or World Cup winners Juan Mata or Javi Martinez, Albrighton added: "Not really, no. We wouldn't really recognise them.

"We've got to be positive about our game and can't fear them too much.

"We know bits and pieces about them but I think we've got to concentrate on us and make them fear us.

"I've seen a couple of clips and noticed that, defensively, we can get at them, definitely.

"The craft that we've got going forward, we've got pace, we've got strength and we've got a lot of ability.

"They do look vulnerable at the back, so we'll look to counter on them while they're playing their pretty football."

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Topics:
Marc Albrighton
Football
Championship
Premier League
Stuart Pearce
Micah Richards
Aston Villa
Jack Wilshere

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