England's James Ward-Prowse looks back on Euro double-header with Under-21s
James Ward-Prowse reflected on his first trip away with England Under-21s after Monday’s 1-1 draw with Finland.
The Southampton youngster was brought into the squad by new boss Gareth Southgate for the Euro qualifying double-header against Moldova and Finland.
The 18-year-old impressed in both games as the Three Lions took four points from six as they start their quest to reach the 2015 Euro finals in Czech Republic.
It has been a fast progression through the ranks for Ward-Prowse, with his first U19 cap arriving a year ago before going on to feature for the U20s at this summer’s World Cup.
And despite having to settle for a draw with 10 men in Tampere, the midfielder felt England could return home satisfied with their week’s work after their opening victory over Moldova last Thursday.
He said: “With any competition whether it’s the league or a qualification campaign like this, it’s good to get off to a winning start.
“We did that [against Moldova] and I think given the circumstances in Finland, we did well and we’re happy with the point.”
The performance of Ward-Prowse and his midfield partner Tom Carroll on Monday drew special praise from Southgate.
And he admits he enjoyed playing alongside the diminutive playmaker, who has recently signed on loan for QPR from Spurs.
“Tom’s quite a similar player to me and obviously him being at Tottenham and me at Southampton, both teams like to get the ball down and play,” he said.
“I think we’re both quite similar players and I think we understand how to play alongside each other and I think we link up well.
“I feel that when I go back to my club, I’ve benefited a lot from the experiences I’ve had with England and I think that’s a credit to the whole system, the coaching and obviously the lads I’m playing with. The whole thing has benefited me.”
Ward-Prowse has also enjoyed a good start to the new campaign with Southampton, starting in their three Premier League games so far.
And he has been enjoying his football too, both on the domestic and international stage.
“Every game offers you a new experience, a new challenge to deal with,” he admitted.
“The big stadiums, being on telly, playing under pressure – they’re all things that we have to deal with and benefit us when we come and play for England.
“I’ve just got to make sure that I focus on a day-to-day basis and be the best that I can and keep my feet on the ground.”