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

U21s defender Calum Chambers on positives from Sweden and competition for places

Saturday 17 Jun 2017
England U21s defender Calum Chambers applauds the fans after the game with Sweden

Calum Chambers says England Under-21s won’t be dwelling on their Euro opener with Sweden, after being left frustrated with a 0-0 draw.

The Young Lions had to rely on a late penalty save from Jordan Pickford to keep their clean sheet in tact, something which the Arsenal man says is a positive ahead of Monday’s game with Slovakia.

Slovakia v England
  • UEFA European U21 Championship Finals
  • Group A
  • 5pm BST, Monday 19 June 2017
  • Kielce Stadium, Poland
  • Live on Sky Sports

“We can focus now on the next game,” he admitted.

“We go game-by-game and focus on ourselves so that means getting a win in the next game.

“I think the first initial feeling, we were a little frustrated that we didn’t get the win but in the bigger picture, I think a point is good.”

England made a bright start to the game in Kielce, enjoying the best of the possession and territory in the opening exchanges before Sweden found their feet and enjoyed a few opportunities of their own.

But Chambers, who was part of the U21s squad to feature at the last Euro Finals two years ago, knows that with two games to go in the group there is plenty to be positive about.

“It was a typical opener of a tournament game, with two strong teams,” he added.

“I thought we both had spells and chances but the positives we can take from today are that we were defensively strong and kept a clean sheet.

“When you’re against strong teams, they’re always going to get phases of play but I thought we started well and it just didn’t fall for us.

"We're disappointed we didn't get all of the points, but it's a point in the first game of a tournament and we're off and running now.”

Chambers got the nod to line-up alongside Swansea City’s Alfie Mawson in central defence for the Young Lions, but with his Arsenal team-mate Rob Holding, Southampton’s Jack Stephens and Wolves man Kortney Hause all ready to step in, the former Middlesbrough man knows he needs to perform.

“There’s a lot of competition in the centre-back positions, there’s some good players there,” he admits.

“So anyone who plays has got to be on their toes and be on their best game and that can only make you perform better.”

The Young Lions are next in action on Monday evening when they face Slovakia at the same venue in Kielce.

By Nicholas Veevers in Kielce, Poland