Southgate keen to learn from summer's Euro lessons

Friday 07 Aug 2015
Gareth Southgate's side begin their new Euro campaign in Norway on 7 September
England Under-21s kick-off their new Euro Qualifying campaign next month and head coach Gareth Southgate is eager to get back in action.

The Three Lions begin their road to Poland 2017 with a game against Norway on Monday 7 September but their first outing of the new season comes against USA in Preston four days before that.

And despite the disappointment of his first full Euro campaign ending with a group stage exit at the Finals in Czech Republic earlier this summer, Southgate is keen to learn from the previous two years and improve.

England v USA

International U21 Match
7.45pm, Thursday 3 September 2015
Deepdale, Preston North End
Live on BT Sport 1
Call 0844 856 1966 for tickets

"The group of staff have learned a lot from qualifying last time and the Finals this time, so there are areas where we will want to be better at this time around," said Southgate, whose side will also play Bosnia, Switzerland and Kazakhstan in their group.

"In qualifying, we had an exceptional set of results and we were pretty much faultless up to the Finals.

"So we want to replicate that again really but go one further and there are challenges for the players in terms of their individual development as well.

"There are areas which we realised during the summer that we need to address during the two years of building up to the Finals."

The experiences from the last two years are not just limited to Southgate and his staff either, with a number of key players from the last campaign still eligible for the next U21 Championship.

From the squad of 23 who travelled to Czech Republic, Calum Chambers, Matt Targett, John Stones, Nat Chalobah, Jake Forster-Caskey, James Ward-Prowse, Nathan Redmond, Will Hughes and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are all still young enough to feature.

Matt Targett and Ruben Loftus-Cheek during training with England Under-21s.

Both Matt Targett of Southampton and Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek can play for the U21s in the new Euro campaign

Added to that are defenders Eric Dier and Tyler Blackett, who were both capped by Southgate in the last campaign, along with the group of U20s who enjoyed a successful season under Aidy Boothroyd last term.

But Southgate will not be drawn on his plans for the squad just yet, with the new season yet to start and the opportunity for new names to play their way into his plans. 

"At this moment in time, it’s still very much a long list," he told TheFA.com

"It’s a matter of seeing who is in form and who is going to start [the new season] well.

"We’ve got players who have done well for us at U19s and U20s level, but the squad will evolve as we go through the first year.

"But that’s good as there’s a whole two-year campaign and we know players will emerge during that time."

Tickets for the game with USA’s U23s Olympic squad at Deepdale on Thursday 3 September are on sale now, priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children, with a family ticket (two adults and two children) costing £20, and group bookings of 15+ working out at £5 for adults and £1 for children.

Season ticket holders at Deepdale can also claim half price tickets and concessions for U18s, over 65s and students (on production of valid ID) are £5. Call 0844 856 1966 for details or e-mail: ticketoffice@pne.com

By Nicholas Veevers