Gareth Southgate's Euro belief for Three Lions

Thursday 06 Nov 2014
Southgate was at the Euro draw in Prague on Thursday
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Gareth Southgate says the hard work starts now for his England Under-21s squad following Thursday’s Euro draw.

The Three Lions will face Italy, Portugal and Sweden at the Euro Finals in Czech Republic next summer.

Czech Republic legend Pavel Nedved assisted with the Euro 2015 draw in Prague.

Czech legend Pavel Nedved made the Euro draw in Prague on Thursday

And with Southgate’s side set to play Portugal in a preparation game in Burnley next week, the Under-21s head coach is already planning for the Finals in June.

"They’re all good sides and we actually play Portugal next week so we’ve already done a bit of homework on them already and know how good they are," said Southgate, who was present at the draw in Prague.

"Italy were Finalists last time and Sweden knocked France out in the play-offs so we’re under no illusions.

"We’re effectively in the quarter finals now, so whoever we drew was going to be a difficult game and I’m sure they’ll feel the same about playing against us."

With Portugal and France already lined-up as opponents this month, Southgate is satisfied that his side will see the level required if they are to succeed next summer.

And after the form shown by England during their qualifying campaign over the last 13 months, which saw them win 11 out of their 12 games, he has plenty of faith in his players.

"We have to have great belief now, it’s a realistic target for us," he added.

"We set off trying to play a certain style of football and we still want to do that.

"And it’s more important now that we’re going into a tournament that we can retain possession of the ball.

"But of course, when you’re at this point now, your mind turns to how you’re going to win it and that starts with the games against Portugal and France this month.

"We want to continue to improve ahead of next summer."

Tickets for the game at Turf Moor cost just £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. Call 01282 700003 for more details.

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By Nicholas Veevers