Aidy Boothroyd: Squad depth key to seeing off Netherlands

Friday 15 Jul 2016
England Under-19s boss Aidy Boothroyd urges his side on against the Dutch

England Under-19s coach Aidy Boothroyd was left a happy man after substitute Izzy Brown’s injury-time goal secured a second Euro Finals victory from as many games.

Opponents Netherlands had gone ahead after just ten minutes through Sam Lammers but the Young Lions drew level with an excellent finish from Dominic Solanke, who also scored in Tuesday’s win over France.

Brown was one of four players benched from the previous game but, having come on to replace Ademola Lookman for the final quarter-hour, the Chelsea man struck in the second minute of injury time to make it two wins from two.

England 2-1 Netherlands

2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals
11am (BST), Friday 15 July
Donaustadion, Ulm, Germany


And, with England now on the verge of a place in the semi-finals and qualification next year’s Under-20 World Cup, Boothroyd was delighted to see his decision to shuffle his pack pay off.

“It's an 18-man squad and we believe that we have to be ready to play all 18 players,” he explained.

“If you play the same 11 every [game] then sometimes, if you've got the wrong characters then they can react in the wrong way. Thankfully we've got really good characters.

“We said from the start that everybody's going to be needed – there’ll be games when, tactically, people might need to come out to come in and win the game later on, and everybody accepts that.

“We're in a situation where subs must come on and perform – we can't have anybody sulking. We tend to be [together] as a team and as a squad. We have a good relationship with the players, and discuss tactics so they understand game-plans.

“We just felt today that we needed to make sure that we were very solid defensively because the Dutch are a very good team, but that there might be one or two openings that we could create on counter-attacks.”



Brown celebrates his dramatic winner

The Young Lions will officially seal a semi-final spot if fourth-placed Croatia fail to beat France later on Friday.

The Netherlands could still qualify, and Boothroyd admitted that the Oranje – who opened their campaign by beating Croatia, despite having a man sent off early in the second – perhaps did not deserve to end today’s game empty-handed.


“We have a good relationship with the players, and discuss tactics so they understand game-plans”

Aidy Boothroyd 
England U19 head coach

“I thought it was a very tight game between two good teams,” reflected the England coach. “The Dutch probably shaded the first half [but] we were better in the second half.

“They had some good chances in the first half which we managed to defend with some last-ditch tackles and some good saves from our goalkeeper.

“In the second half I think the effect of having a man sent off in the first game meant we had a little more left in the tank than they did and we managed to get the win.

“I think a draw would have been fair for both teams.”

By Jim Lucas