U21s captain believes England can get better before next summer's Euros in Israel
By Jamie Bradbury
With eight months to prepare for Euro 2013
, England Under-21s captain Jordan Henderson
says the Young Lions have time to get better.
Stuart Pearce's side secured qualification for the UEFA European Under-21s Championship Finals for a fourth consecutive time on Tuesday night. It's a record no other nation is able to boast.
Although victory over Serbia
was marred by scenes at full-time, the 2-0 aggregate win booked England's place in the eight-team tournament next summer alongside hosts Israel, holders Spain, Germany, Italy, Norway, Holland and Russia.
And Henderson believes the Three Lions deserve to be going after victory in nine out of ten games in their qualification campaign.
"We’ve played well over the course of qualifying." the Liverpool midfielder told FATV
. "I think we’ve deserved to do it, so now we’ve got to improve over the next eight months.
"I’m sure we’ll do that and we’ll only get better from this."
England travelled to Serbia for Tuesday's play-off second leg with a one-goal advantage from the first leg
and needing just a draw to qualify.
And despite pressure from the home team, and their fans, for much of the game England defended valiantly, maintaining their fifth consecutive clean-sheet and snatching a late winner through Connor Wickham.
"We knew it was going to be difficult coming here, it was hard to get the ball and play," siad Henderson.
"I thought the team spirit and defensive play from start to finish was unbelievable, especially the back four and the 'keeper.
"They were immense and we didn’t give them a sniff really. They had one or two slight chances, but I didn’t think they had any clear chances.
"I felt that our tactics worked well and we turned them in behind early on, I thought Marvin [Sordell] and Incey [Tom Ince] did well down the channels and made it hard for them.
"We managed to break at the end there and score the goal. We’re over the moon to go through."
He added: "It was a job well done and we’re looking forward to going to the Euros now."
England can now look forward to the draw for Israel 2013, which takes place on 28 November, but before then, Stuart Pearce's team take on Northern Ireland in Blackpool on Tuesday 13 November. Click here for tickets.