Men's Under 21s
Men's Under 21s

England U21s interim head coach reflects on Euro Final draw in Krakow

Friday 02 Dec 2016

England Under-21s will take on host nation Poland and reigning champions Sweden at next summer’s Euro Finals.

The draw took place in Krakow on Thursday evening and the Young Lions were drawn out in Group A, with Slovakia also joining to complete the quartet.

And interim U21s head coach Aidy Boothroyd admits it’s going to be a group which England will have to approach with the right attitude if they are to progress beyond the group stages.

UEFA European U21 Championship

The Finals
16-30 June 2017 

"I think it's a tough group,” said Boothroyd.

"With the 12 best teams in Europe at this moment all involved, it's always going to be difficult whichever group you are in.

"But to play the hosts [Poland], the current holders [Sweden] and an unknown quantity in Slovakia, who did really well to qualify and have nothing to lose, it will be a very difficult group for us.

"We have to make sure that we prepare properly and treat every game with the respect that it deserves.

"I've been in too many tournaments to know that anything can happen if you don't prepare properly and we'll have to be at our best.”

England will play their games in Kielce and Lublin, with fixture dates on 16, 19 and 22 June but with the opposition and venues to be scheduled soon.

And after playing, and beating, eventual champions Sweden in the 2015 edition in Czech Republic courtesy of a goal from Jesse Lingard, Boothroyd hopes his side can take inspiration from that game and the Swedes' subsequent path to glory.

"We've got to take some things from what they [Sweden] did last time, they came through with togetherness, spirit and a work ethic,” he explained.

“Those are things that we're going to have to add to our game to make sure we get results against all these teams.

"Against Poland, the hardest thing will be to win the respect and to quieten down the crowd and if we can do that, then we should have done pretty well.”

The Young Lions qualified for the finals in Poland after topping their qualifying group over the last 13 months, with Boothroyd taking over from Gareth Southgate for the last four games following his ascension to the senior men’s manager role.

By Nicholas Veevers