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Robinson bullish ahead of opener

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Mark Robinson

Mark Robinson has been seconded to the ECB to coach England U19s for the World Cup in New Zealand

Mark Robinson insists England Under-19s will not be taking anything for granted when they meet Hong Kong in their World Cup opener.

England face the tournament minnows tomorrow and the coach said there was too much at stake for his players to just turn up and expect to win.

“There won’t be any complacency,” Robinson told

“It’s the first game of the World Cup, the match is live on TV and everyone is excited about it.

“We want to get off to a winning start. Winning breeds confidence and sport is all about momentum.”

England versus Hong Kong has all the hallmarks of a banana skin fixture – a classic David v Goliath encounter.

However, rather than focus on an opposition they know little about Robinson said it was more important to concentrate on his players and ensure they are in the right frame of mind.

“You just try and prepare as best you can,” said Robinson, who has been seconded from Sussex.

“The players are fully aware of their jobs and their role within the team.

“They must be completely focused and know they cannot relax for one session.”

England suffered a defeat to New Zealand in their final warm-up game but Robinson suggested that result might have done the side some good.

“It was a reality check,” said Robinson. “We were well beaten. It did not dent the confidence though and I have been pleased by the reaction of the players.

“Losing that game showed there are no short-cuts to success and that you need a constant drive for excellence.”

That defeat followed warm-up victories over a strong Wellington XI and Papua New Guinea.

“We started really well and flew out of the traps,” added Robinson.

“We had a good win against Wellington who had Jesse Ryder and Mark Gillespie in their side. We then beat Papua New Guinea, although it was hard to gauge how strong the opposition were.

England Under-19s

England enjoyed warm-up wins over a strong Wellington XI and Papua New Guinea but then lost to New Zealand

“Not all of our players have been happy with how they have played but the important thing is most of them have had time in the middle.”

Robinson added that he has enjoyed coaching a new group of players and now wants tomorrow’s game to start.

“It’s been a great experience for me,” he said. “I am quite a challenging coach so the players have had to get used to the way I work.

“What has been interesting is seeing the different levels of maturity and experience within the squad.

“It’s been good for me to work with a different staff and to see how an England set up works.

“The only thing I have not enjoyed is the weather. It’s windy and grey – all I packed was a suitcase full of T-shirts and shorts. I might have to go and buy some jumpers.

“Not that I should really complain about the weather considering what’s going on back at home.”

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