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'We can go all the way'

Head coach Keith Downing is full of confidence after England U19 saw off Bulgaria

Monday 03 Jul 2017

After witnessing his side get off to winning start, England head coach Keith Downing sees no reason why they cannot go all the way in the UEFA European U19 Championship.

Mason Mount took less than 60 seconds to throw weight behind Downing’s assertions with the opening goal against Bulgaria.

And Ryan Sessegnon sealed three points with a goal in the opening exchanges of the second half.

Next Match
  • England v Netherlands
  • UEFA European U19 Championship
  • Group B
  • 2.30pm (BST), Thursday 6 July 2017
  • Live on British Eurosport 2

England move on to meet the Netherlands and Germany in Group B, but the calibre of such opponents does not scare Downing.

“We have confidence, belief and momentum,” he said.

“It’s not an arrogance, but there is a strong belief in the group that we can do it. 

“It’s only a start, we’ve got two extremely difficult games to come and we’ve got total respect for both nations in the way they play. 

“It’s a good solid start, a clean sheet and two goals and now we have to ensure we have the right recovery.”

The Young Lions performance in Tbilisi was made all the more impressive when you consider the high temperatures the game was played in, with several drinks breaks taken in the second half.

And Downing felt his team’s game management was a major plus point to take forwards.

“We started both halves exceptionally well and scored two exceptional goals,” he added.

“It was played in extremely difficult conditions, it was 42 degrees down at pitch side, so the boys not only had to manage the opposition but also the heat.

“The pitch was really sapping, but we managed the game really well. 

“Credit to Bulgaria, they gave us a really good game. When they did breach us, Aaron Ramsdale made two particularly good saves at 1-0. Trevor Chalobah was excellent at the back with Easah Suliman helping him, so I’m happy with a clean sheet as well. It was a complete performance. 

“At the back end of the game we started to build a rhythm and I was pleased with that because we’ll take that into the second game.”

By Andy Walker Senior Communications Manager Tbilisi, Georgia