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The FA

'Same again please'

Keith Downing says England U19s' objective remains unchanged ahead of Euro semi-final

Tuesday 11 Jul 2017

Head coach Keith Downing has told his players its business as usual when England take on Czech Republic in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship semi-final on Wednesday.

The Young Lions stormed into the last-four with group stage victories over Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Germany – scoring seven goals and conceding just one in the process.

Though the task now changes as England move into the knockout stages, Downing is determined that their approach will not.

England v Czech Republic
  • UEFA European U19 Championship
  • Semi-Final
  • 5pm (BST), Wednesday 12 July 2017
  • Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, Tbilisi
  • Live on British Eurosport 2

“We’ve taken every game as a cup final, so I don’t think the mentality will change,” he said.

“We’ve achieved nothing, we’re just over the first stage and we’ve got to finish the job now.

“It was a tough group to come out of, but we have won three games and we’re pleased with that and very confident going into the semi-final.

“It will be an extremely difficult game against a very tough Czech Republic team who have had some good results.

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“We were very impressed with them against Georgia. They handled the occasion and the crowd, which was very big and patriotic.

“We are very respectful or their professionalism and organisation, but we’re looking forward to the game.”

One of England’s leading lights in Georgia has been captain Jay Dasilva.

And, having witnessed his counterparts in the U21s, U20s, U17s men’s teams, as well as the triumphant Toulon Tournament squad, all do themselves proud this summer, the Chelsea defender wants to follow suit.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to cap off a great summer for England’s youth teams,” said Dasilva, who has not missed a minute of the action in Georgia so far.

“It’s been a very good tournament. It’s a very good opportunity to make our families and friends back home proud. 

“We need to build on the momentum that we’ve gained throughout this tournament and to not hold anything back.”

There will be a reshuffle in the England defence on Wednesday, with Trevoh Chalobah having flown home after suffering ankle ligament damage.

Midfielder Andre Dozzell is also carrying a hip injury, but Downing is confident he has the resources to cope.

“Trevoh Chalobah has gone home,” Downing confirmed. “He had a scan on his ankle and damaged ligaments, so he will take no further part in the tournament. 

“It’s a great shame, he’s been an inspirational leader and the boys would like to achieve something for him.

“Andre Dozzell has an impact injury on his hip and but is progressing well.

“We’ve stressed this is an 18-man squad and there has been a big contribution from everybody.”

By FA Staff