James Milner sees the importance of 2009 European Under-21 Championship.
Norway v England
5.30pm (GMT), Friday 27 March 2009
Komplett.no Arena, Sandefjord
England v France
8pm, Tuesday 31 March 2009
The City Ground, Nottingham Forest FC
Ticket Details £10 for adults and £5 for concessions, call 0871 226 1980
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Having been a part of the England squad that lost out to Holland in the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, James Milner is eager to erase the memory of that epic penalty shootout defeat by going to Sweden and winning the tournament this time around.
In preparation for the 2009 Finals - which will commence in June - England will take on Norway in Sandefjord tomorrow afternoon, before flying home to face France at the City Ground on Tuesday.
England qualified for Sweden with an unbeaten record, winning seven out of eight group matches and beat Wales in a two legged Play-Off, but Milner says it is important to maintain that level of performance as the Finals approach.
"We had a good qualification [campaign]," said Milner, who was speaking after an FA Charter Standard coaching event at Fernwood School in the east Midlands.
"We played very well and didn't concede too many goals, which is a big thing. It's down to us now to take that form into tournament football, where we'll be playing against the top teams. It's down to us to prove that we can go there and do the business."
England lost 13-12 in that shootout in 2007 and Milner insists the disappointment of that defeat will act as motivation in Sweden.
"We went so close last time round and were left very disappointed," said Milner, who with 40 caps is England’s most-capped Under-21 player of all time.
"Everyone involved last time wants to be involved again. It gives us that [tournament] experience and I'm sure quite a few of the lads will want to make the step up and go again the year after and be involved in the World Cup squad.
"[Euro 2009] is massively important in our development as players and it's massively important for England, because it will give England a big lift if we went there and won the tournament."