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The FA

No 'fear factor'

Paul Simpson feels Young Lions' summer successes will help players deal with pressure

Monday 11 Sep 2017

Paul Simpson believes the free-spirited performances of England’s younger teams this summer can help remove any ‘fear factor’ in playing for the Three Lions further down the line.

The U19s head coach led last season’s Young Lions to the U20 World Cup in June, before England went on to add the Toulon Tournament title and U19 Euros to their trophy collection.

And with the confidence that winning titles on the international stage has given England’s youngsters, Simpson is hoping that will stand them in good stead for the future.

“We’re trying to get rid of that fear factor,” revealed Simpson, who saw his side beat Poland by 7-1 before losing 3-1 to Germany earlier this month.

“There’s always a pressure playing for top clubs in the Premier League, whether that’s for the U23s or in senior football.

“And there’s always a pressure that comes with playing at international level, but that’s something which these guys have got to get used to doing.

“If you want to be a top player, you have to get used to dealing with it. You have to be patient and that showed in the summer, when the lads showed that if you stick to the plan as we did against Italy in the World Cup, things will come right.

“All of the teams are following the same sort of pathway and playing style to create the identity of an England team and, of course, we all hope these players will get an opportunity to keep developing.”

The FA ;

Simpson’s squad will be aiming to defend their Euro title this campaign when their first qualifying round takes place in November with a trip to Bulgaria where they will face the host nation, Iceland and Faroe Islands.

But they have two more preparation games next month when they face a trip to take on Slovakia and Czech Republic during October’s international week, when Simpson is looking forward to working with his players again.

“There’s no shortage of talent in this U19s age group that we’re working with,” he added.

“There are some really good players and some talented players who weren’t even with us this time who may feature next month.

“So we’ll keep building and doing our work to make sure we’re improving.”

By Nicholas Veevers