Southgate says current crop capable of Euro glory

Thursday 13 Nov 2014
Gareth Southgate has praised the togetherness of current Under-21s
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Gareth Southgate believes his Under-21 squad have the attitude required to become European Champions next summer.

The Three Lions sealed their place in the Euro Finals with a play-off victory over Croatia last month and now start their preparations for next June’s trip to Czech Republic on Thursday evening when they face Portugal in Burnley.

England v Portugal

U21 International
7.45pm, Thursday 13 November
Turf Moor, Burnley
Live on BT Sport
Tickets £10 adults, £5 concessions

And head coach Southgate believes there is enough desire amongst the players to go deep into the tournament.

The former England defender said: “We talk about the strength of a group and the team dynamic, but this is as good as I’ve known.

“They want to do more and more, they’re happy to spend time together but they want to challenge each other and want us to push them and they want to be European Champions.

“They recognise that to do that is going to take a lot of work between now and the summer and they’re really up for it.”

Southgate takes his squad north to Turf Moor this evening for the Portugal game before they fly to northern France at the weekend ahead of a match with Les Bleus on Monday.

“We talk about the strength of a group and the team dynamic, but this is as good as I’ve known”

Gareth Southgate 

And with new faces in the group including AFC Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson and Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli, Southgate said there are always opportunities for players to break into the group should they impress with their clubs.

He added: “Hopefully, that’s been a signal to lots of other teams that we don’t just look at the bigger clubs when we’re selecting players.

“We’ve got a lot of players in different age groups that are playing throughout the Football League. That’s becoming a real strength of our talent identification really.”

You can still buy tickets for tonight’s game, priced at just £10 for adults and £5 for juniors, at the Turf Moor Ticket Office. Kick-off is at 7.45pm. 

Call 01282 700003 for more details.

By Nicholas Veevers