Michael Keane: We can be a match for anyone at Euros

Friday 05 Jun 2015
Keane has been a regular for England Under-21s
Michael Keane says England Under-21s’ focus has been solely on their Euro rivals in training this week.

The Three Lions play their final warm-up game against Belarus at Barnsley’s Oakwell next Thursday, but this week’s work has revolved around what lies ahead in Czech Republic.

England v Belarus

A Vauxhall U21 International
7.45pm, Thursday 11 June 2015
Oakwell, Barnsley FC
Live on BT Sport
Call 0871 2266777 for tickets

Gareth Southgate’s team face Portugal in Uherske Hradiste on 18 June in their Group B opener, before further matches against Sweden and Italy in Olomouc.

And since meeting up at St. George’s Park on Tuesday, Keane revealed the coaching staff are already getting the players geared up for the group games.

"We’re not really looking at Belarus at the moment," revealed the Burnley defender.

"We’re looking at the teams which we’re going to play in the group and in training, we’ve been working on the ways we can play against them.

"We have an in-house friendly too, which is more for the fitness really.

"But every team that is in the tournament will have good quality players.

"We don’t need to work on one thing in specific, but we know that if we play to our strengths and we’re playing well, we'll be a match for anyone."

Keane has been almost ever-present throughout the qualification process, even enjoying a run of goalscoring in the early stages where he netted against San Marino twice and Finland.

And the vast majority of the 23-man squad which was picked by Southgate for the Finals have been involved for most of it too, something which Keane believes has helped England to pick up some impressive results in their warm-up games since qualification was secured last October.

Victories over fellow finalists Portugal last November and Germany and Czech Republic in March ensure they will head to their Euro base in Olomouc with no shortage of confidence.

"We’ve been building up to this tournament for almost two years now and we’ve kept a similar squad," said the former Manchester United man.

Michael Keane makes a run forward against Lithuania.

Michael Keane in action against Lithuania earlier this season

"We’ve been training for a while and we can’t wait to get out there. 

"Games like that [Germany and Portugal] are massive for confidence. The last time England went to the Euros, we didn’t have too many hard tests before we went.

"But we’ve had some tough friendlies against the likes of Portugal and Germany and we’ve done well, so we’re looking forward to it."

Tickets for the game with Belarus on Thursday 11 June are on sale now priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. Click here to buy online.

By Nicholas Veevers At St. George's Park